|Title||An Italian Village School|
|Alternative Title||The School House|
|Collection||Calderdale MBC Libraries, Museums and Arts|
|Artist||Costantini, Giuseppe (Italian painter 1843-1893)|
|Description||Giuseppe Costantini was a painter of landscapes and genre scenes, specialising in scenes of childhood, emphasising the poverty of rural South Italy. He trained in the town of Nola at the Fine Art Academy before moving to Naples, where this work was painted. When it was first exhibited in the Smith Art Gallery, it was admired for the minute attention to detail, which can be observed in the background objects, such as the map, globe, and books. The school master has already caught one student misbehaving: a boy is punished with a piece of wood tied in his mouth.|
|Current Accession Number||1974.483|
|Former Accession Number||597; 638|
|Inscription||front lr 'G. Costantini. Napoli. 1888.'|
|Subject||everyday life (village school); figure; interior|
|Measurements||40.1 x 63.7 cm cm (estimate)|
|Material||oil on panel|
|Acquisition Details||Transferred from Brighouse Municipal Borough Council, 1974.|
|Provenance||Given by William and Susan Smith to Smith Art Gallery, Brighouse, 1907.|
|Publications||'Smith Art Gallery: Notes on the Pictures: A Guide to the East Gallery', Brighouse News, 14 June 1907, p. 8, as 'a humorous but faithful depiction of an Italian Schoolmaster inculcating knowledge to mischievous minds' by G. C. Napoli|
Reverse all on panel cl Smith Art Gallery, Brighouse label no. 638, with title 'The School House' scored out, and 'An Italian School' added; uc Brighouse label no. 597; cr black paint '9'.
Listed as no. 597 in 1970 manuscript catalogue with comment 'could be Giuseppe Costantini of Nola'. This suggestion has been confirmed by comparative works, see the entry in Bénézit which lists a painting with a similar subject that came up for sale in New York, 12 March 1986, of a classroom, dated 1886, size 38 x 52; and Giuseppe Costantini, Scuola di Villaggio, signed and dated 1886, Rome, Galleria d'Arte Moderna. Some of the motifs are similar in the Rome and Halifax paintings. Costantini was trained by Prof Mancinelli and Vincenzo Petruccelli.
See 1974.433 for information on William and Susan Smith.
|Rights Owner||Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council Museums and Arts|
|Author||Dr Phillippa Plock|