Pardon our dust while we update this corner of the website.

Antonio Mancini: Nineteenth-Century Italian Master
October 20, 2007 - January 20, 2008
Il Saltimbanco
Il Saltimbanco, 1879
Antonio Mancini, Italian
[ More Details ]
Antonio Mancini: Nineteenth-Century Italian Master
October 20, 2007 - January 20, 2008
Marking the first exhibition in the United States devoted exclusively to Antonio Mancini, one of the most prominent Italian painters of the late nineteenth century, this exhibition highlights a unique group of paintings and pastels that recently entered the Museum's collection as a gift from the estate of the American art collector and dealer Vance N. Jordan (1943–2003).

Mancini worked at the forefront of Verismo, an indigenous Italian response to nineteenth-century realism, producing haunting portrayals of circus performers, street musicians, and impoverished children taken from the streets of Naples. After suffering a disabling mental illness, Mancini settled in Rome, and with the support of American and Dutch patrons managed for many years to eke out a precarious existence. The artist John Singer Sargent, who famously declared Mancini to be the greatest living painter, eventually introduced him to a circle of wealthy English patrons for whom he produced notable society portraits. Many of Mancini's paintings incorporated thick impasto, whose glittering light effects he enhanced by adding bits of glass, metal foil, and other materials.

This exhibition includes a comprehensive selection of paintings, drawn from public and private collections in the United States and Europe, to complement and provide context for the Museum's acquisitions, as well as a selection of Mancini's many reflective self-portraits, which chronicle periods of both mental instability and the satisfying equilibrium brought by old age and fame.


The exhibition is supported in part by The Robert Montgomery Scott Fund for Exhibitions at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.


Ulrich Hiesinger • Guest Curator, Department of European Paintings Before 1900


Galleries 153 and 155, first floor