In this ongoing series for Fine Art Today, we take a longer look at the history and features of a soon-to-be-available artwork of note. This week: Vincenzo Cabianca, “Country Girl on Rocks.”
On August 26, collectors will have the opportunity to acquire a rare work from a member of the 19th-century group called the Macchiaioli. Titled “Country Girl on Rocks,” circa 1856, the gorgeous canvas is by the hand of Vincenzo Cabianca, an Italian painter born in Verona in 1827. After studying at the Venice Academy from 1845-1947, Cabianca became well acquainted with a group of artists who frequented the Caffè Michelangiolo in Florence.
The Macchiaioli — as they would eventually be called — were among the first on the Italian peninsula to break away from the antiquated traditions taught by local academies. Closely related to the French Impressionists, the Macchiaioli preferred to work en plein air — or outdoors — but also remained inspired by the bold tonal structure in Old Master works by, among others, Rembrandt, Caravaggio, and Tintoretto.
Although the Macchiaioli artists’ penchant for plein air painting is well documented, Cabianca was known to have been more reluctant to abandon his academic training and occasional paintings of historical and literary subjects; among those is his lovely studio works in the piece heading to auction on August 26 via Auctionata. A highlight of the house’s “Classic Works of Art” sale, “Country Girl on Rocks” is a stunning painting with melancholy overtones. A large diagonal composition of rocks overlooking a small seascape form the dominant structure of the painting, but the real focus is the lone female figure who sits and gazes longingly at the horizon. The subject’s dress indicates her exotic ethnicity, perhaps not native to the Italian peninsula. Although her identity is unknown, the viewer easily relates the calm, sober tone of the work. Bidding for the painting begins at $4,200.
To view the full catalogue, visit Auctionata.
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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