|Title||Head of an Italian woman|
|Alternative Title||An Italian Contadina|
|Collection||Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle|
|Artist||Rodríguez Barcaza, Ramón (Spanish painter; 1820-1892)|
Ramón Rodríguez Barcaza studied under Léon Cogniet in Paris. He taught at the School of Fine Arts in Cadiz and travelled to Rome in the 1860s. He was influenced by other Spanish artists working in Italy at this time, such as Mariano Fortuny. His genre paintings of Italian subjects are testimony of this source of inspiration. They are characterised by vibrant colour, free brushstrokes and attention to local detail.
Here the unknown sitter wears a head-dress and a white blouse vaguely inspired by traditional Italian costume. Their simplicity contrasts with the elaborate design of her earrings and gold pendant, made in imitation of ancient ornaments. This type of archaeological jewellery, produced by Rome-based firms such as Castellani, was fashionable during the 1850s and 1860s.
|Current Accession Number||B.M.927|
|Former Accession Number||No. 11m; No. 416|
|Inscription||front cr 'Rodriguez 1866 Roma'|
|Measurements||56 x 46.5 cm (estimate)|
|Material||oil on canvas|
|Acquisition Details||Bequeathed by the founders John and Joséphine Bowes 1885.|
|Publications||Young, E., Catalogue of Spanish Paintings, Middlesbrough, 1988, pp. 148-49.|
|Notes||The manuscript catalogue refers to the sitter in this portrait as 'Mme. Secatore modele'.|
|Rights Owner||The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, Co. Durham|
|Author||Dr Mercedes Cerón|