Giuseppe Cosenza (Luzzi 1846 – New York 1922), The thoughtful woman
Oil on panel cm 27 x 16 signed (G. Cosenza), dated (1877) and situated (Napoli) lower right.
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Trained in the workshop of Giovanni Battista Santoro, Giuseppe Cosenza attends the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples, where he comes into contact with Domenico Morelli and Edoardo Dalbono. After his stay in Naples, at the request of Francesco Paolo Michetti, he went to Paris and London. During this stay in London, in March 1875, he took part in a national artistic exhibition. The Cosenza has only two paintings: “The boats on the Thames” and “London in the fog”, so valuable for workmanship and naturalness that are purchased by the government to enrich the English Galleries.
In 1886, to support his wife, the Spanish singer Emiliana Contrera, driven by nostalgia for her parents, left for America. Cosenza has a successful success overseas as artist by painting, at the Artistic Association of New York, in just six hours, the large canvas “Village of Negroes in bivouac”. This painting allows him to receive the position of director at the “Society World’s Fair” of Chicago. Here, however, there is very little time left; in fact he moved to New York, where he settled permanently in 1890, together with his family.
Painter of very bright sea views and made with great technique, for which he became famous, in this small painting you can see the ability of Cosenza to capture the light and bring it joyfully on the table enriching it with small details full of lyricism. The color palette is vibrant with warm tones and enveloped by a vague sense of melancholy: the extraordinary piece of filamentous and materic painting that animates the upper register of the composition, contrasts with the thoughtful figure of a young woman, reclining on an armchair by the harnesses golden, in her right hand a small bouquet of wildflowers, her gaze lost in the void, perhaps leaning toward chasing some amorous memories of youth. The small painting thus becomes a sublime representation of Πόθος, an allegory which, according to Greek literature, embodies the feeling of regret and the sense of nostalgia that one feels when a loved one is far away.