Project Description

Enrico Coleman (Rome 1846 – 1911), Couple of horses with pockmark

Watercolor on glued paper pasted on cardboard cm 35 x 52 signed (H. Coleman) and situated (Roma) lower left.

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The son of Charles Coleman, an English painter who settled in the Eternal City, Enrico followed in his father’s footsteps, and soon he showed abilities that led him to equal and then overcome the success achieved by Charles. Of calm and absorbed character, he visited and observed the entire Lazio region in all his more and less known territories, devoting himself above all to the representation of horses, capturing the character and the articulation of the movement with an extraordinary truth.

Beyond and outside the studio from life, which marked all his activity, we find in Enrico’s work, only towards the Nineties, the adhesion to “artistic fashions” of the moment, with a turn towards the fantastic world of the Böcklin. Even if the contact with an artistic direction extraneous to his verism, it always runs along the thread of an animalist pictorial creed.

Enrico Coleman

The animal kingdom characterizes his best landscape scenes, the undisputed protagonist of his poetry, as in the watercolor presented here, a technique adopted mainly by the artist during his career, where a pock-saddle riding a horse in the middle of the composition pulls a white foal. The action takes place on a day bathed in the light of the first noon in a pristine corner of the Roman countryside, the theater of artistic research conducted by Enrico Coleman who identified his aesthetic style in the genre of the rural scene, placing himself at the head of the naturalistic current Roman painting of the second half of the nineteenth century. His loyalty to the theme of nature, pursued throughout his life, was so tenacious and constant that he induced the artists who, in 1904, gave life to the group of the “XXV of the Roman Campaign”, to give him the presidency of the association.

Among the numerous works of Coleman preserved in Rome, we point out the Via Appia antica (1909, Gall. Of the Accademia di S. Luca); Desolate Roman countryside (Gall. National modern art); and, interesting evidence of his passion as a naturalist, the watercolor Orchids of the surroundings of Rome (1894, Museum of Rome) and the tempera album Burmese Orchideomania (1893-1910, National Prints Cabinet).