Project Description

Antonio Ermolao Paoletti ( Venice 1834 – 1912 ), Bath in lagoon

Mixed media on paper cm 22 x 33, signed “Antonio Paoletti fu Giovanni” and located ( Venice ) lower left.

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Inherited the talent and love for the fine arts by his father, Ermolao Paoletti – known writer and attentive scholar, as well as discreet painter, engraver and professor of the prestigious Academy of Fine Arts in Venice – Antonio Paoletti Ermolao likes to portray the business activities of lagoon city, with scenes depicted with the frequent presence of children. Anecdotal subjects – “Fishing”, “The Romance”, on display in Trieste in 1870; “Pearls woman insert”, Trieste, Revoltella Museum – ,Venetian and popular scenes glimpses: in this area includes the artistic research lead by Paoletti, considered one of the brightest macchiaioli Venetian painters.

He trained at the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice – under the guidance of the famous Pompeo Marino Molmenti, a teacher at the institute and one of the greatest Italian painters of the 18th century, as well as his great mentor – together with the sculptor Antonio Dal Zotto and painter Edgar Chahine, Antonio Paoletti Ermolao began to give way to a remarkable artistic production, extremely rich, successful and prolific, producing several paintings, paintings, frescoes – among which the main altar of the parish of Melara, made in 1863, which depicts St. Anthony, St. Materno and Our Lady of the Rosary with the Child – and paintings, getting some fame in the Venetian art scene, so as to take part in some important Italian exhibitions and artistic events, going, however, in Milan and Turin, and consecrating him as one of the most talented Italian genre painters of his time. Very precise and detailed, he devoted himself, with mild simplicity and attention to detail, to a representation of carefree moments that marked everyday life of working class residing in the Venetian lagoon.


Just a moment of carefree gaiety is the subject of this drawing, which attests a tradition of the Venetian population of the second half of the 19th century: the children bath in the canal, represented in four different moments which ordered in sequence, illustrate all the stages of an operation conducted with loving maternal care: the anecdotal taste triumphs in this nice representation made with white heightening on a watercolor drawing in sepia color.