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“Giovane Contadina” (Young Peasant) by Giuseppe Bonito



“Giovane Contadina” (Young Peasant) by Giuseppe Bonito

The Istituto Italiano di Cultura cordially invites you to the opening of the exhibition “The Light of Truth and Beauty. Giuseppe Bonito's Contadina”, that will be held on June 4 at 6:30pm.

Please RSVP by clicking on the link below!


Whilst immortalizing the captivating Mediterranean beauty of a young peasant girl from the Roman countryside, there is no question that this painting also depicts one of the most iconic images of 18th century artwork. Today, as in the past, even after a single glance, her image remains unforgettable.

After being attributed to Giuseppe Bonito in the first printed catalogue of the collection in 1889, this painting was invited to be a part of a prestigious Neapolitan exhibit in 1938. It was here where Costanza Lorenzetti first acknowledged that the painting’s style was similar to that of Gaspare Traversi’s first work. Thanks to Lorenzetti’s intuition, what followed was a catalogue of the Neapolitan painter that was funded mainly by Nicola Spinosa and Ferdinando Bologna.

Although the similarities between the two artists are supported by well-documented scholarship, Bonito’s christening as an emulator of Traversi has, in recent years, been the subject of new considerations. Whilst these recent considerations have led to the acknowledgement that the association between the two artists is problematic, they also recognise that the painting serves as proof of the critical misfortune that was characteristic of Bonito’s artistic career.

In truth, even if both the use of light and shade as well as the choice of obviously similar 17th Century subjects are common elements in the two artists’ works, one cannot ignore that the layering of colour appears somewhat more imprecise and lacking in density compared to the solid Solimenesque brushwork that distinguishes Traversi’s works.

Also, the comparison to Bonito’s Autoritratto (Self Portrait), now housed in the Uffizi Gallery, appears to further resolve this issue as it reveals striking similarities to a 19th century work that belonged to the collection of Camillo d’Errico.

With regard to the painting’s chronology, it dates back to the end of the third quarter of the 18th century.


(Castellammare di Stabia, 1707 – Naples, 1789)

Young peasant girl

Oil on canvas, 62 cm x 49 cm

OPENING ON Monday June 4, 2018 | 6:30 - 8:30.
Closes July 12, 2018 |Gallery hours 9:30-12:30/2:30-5:00|free admission

Painting lent by Pinacoteca Camillo d’Errico, Palazzo San Gervasio, Potenza, Italy.


Date: Da Monday, June 04, 2018 a Thursday, July 12, 2018

Time: From 9:30 am To 5:00 pm

Organized by : Istituto Italiano di Cultura

In collaboration with : Pinacoteca Camillo d’Errico, Palazzo san Gervasio, Potenza e Consolato Generale d’Italia a Toronto

Entrance : Free


Istituto Italiano di Cultura | 496 Huron Street