Giacomo Balla (Turin 1871 – Rome 1958), Figure of a man (around 1904)
Pencil drawing measuring 11 x 14 cm signed lower left.
The work is archived in the Giacomo Balla Archive of Elena Gigli.
Provenance: Osvaldo Pardo collection (Florence – Rome 1930/1940).
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This is a study for the cycle of 12 paintings called The Living, Balla will make only 4 exhibited in 1909, in Rome at the Amatori e Cultori and in Paris at the Salon d’Automne.
With these works Balla wanted to fix the abnormal image of a society only apparently carefree, those “losers” who are the authentic protagonists for every realist.
Our drawing for the figure of a man is therefore to be compared to the many studies that Balla carried out between 1902 and 1904 for the realization of the cycle of the Living, for the stroke and the signature it is to be connected to the studies for the Beggar’s canvas. (Lista 1982 n. 132) and to the study of the Blind man asking for alms (Lista 1982 n. 131).
The work comes from the Franchetti Pardo collection, purchase or gift to the patron Osvaldo Pardo who has commissioned and purchased many works from Balla since 1905.
Osvaldo Pardo was the owner of a furniture shop at the Tritone where Balla will hold an exhibition in 1915.
At the end of Giacomo Balla’s life, it will only be thanks to the financial help given by Osvaldo Pardo that the Balla family will be able to obtain the radiators in Casa Balla in via Oslavia.