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Boy with Toy Soldiers

Antonio Mancini, Italian, 1852 - 1930

Made in Naples, Italy, Europe

c. 1876

Oil on canvas

29 1/2 × 24 3/4 inches (74.9 × 62.9 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

* Gallery 259, European Art 1850-1900, second floor

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Vance N. Jordan Collection, 2004

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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.


Paul Bourget (1852-1935), Paris, 1870's [1]. Sale, Sotheby's, New York, May 23, 1996, no. 200 (illus.); purchased by Vance N. Jordan (1943-2003), New York. 1. Bourget met Mancini around 1874 and acquired several of his works, including this painting, over the next few years (see Sotheby's catalogue entry).

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