Boy with Toy Soldiers
Antonio Mancini, Italian, 1852 - 1930
Mancini sold this picture for the small sum of two hundred francs to his friend, the well-known French writer Paul Bourget, after declaring to him, "You can not imagine how much I need to earn money." It was painted in Naples, between the artist's two trips to Paris in 1875 and 1877 and was inspired by reports of the ongoing Russo-Turkish War. The model Luigiello appears again in the same lace-collared costume he wore five years earlier in After the Duel. A black glove covers one hand, while the other is bare, a juxtaposition that held some enduring fascination for Mancini, who repeated the idea several more times, including in self-portraits.