Portrait of Laura Bertolini
Pendant to Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1999-4-2
Vincenzo Gemito, Italian, 1852 - 1929
Gemito, an orphaned street child from Naples, became the most important Italian sculptor of the late nineteenth century and is increasingly regarded as one of the period's great draughtsmen. He made two large-scale pendant portraits of a brother and a sister for the Bertolini family, who owned the grandest hotel in Naples, Bertolini's Palace Hotel, at the time the drawings were done. Each of these portraits is odd in its own way; here, the girl's age seems far too advanced for her short, ruffled dress.