Private Collection [sold, Palazzo Borghese, Rome, March 28-April 9, 1892, lot 553.]
Private Collection [sold, Sotheby's, Los Angeles, February 28, 1972, lot 32A, to the J. Paul Getty Museum.]
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A Roman Feast
Roberto Bompiani (Italian (Roman), 1821 - 1908)
late 19th century
Oil on canvas
127 × 163.8 cm (50 × 64 1/2 in.)
Except for the portly man at the table's center, the figures are quintessential "Marble School" creatures, physically perfect, with soft, smooth skin as polished as the marble that surrounds them. Roberto Bompiani delighted in depicting varied textures and patterns, from the leopard-skin rug to the marble floor and table and a shimmering satin dress.
Bompiani did extensive research to create the effect of authenticity, though he often mixed styles and periods in a single canvas. He based the frescoes and inlaid marble floor on Roman models, while the stone and bronze tables, lamps, and vessels depend variously on Greek, Roman, and Etruscan sources.
Bompiani's imaginary genre scenes of Roman life, told with a combination of photographic realism, idealization, and archaeological accuracy, became popular in the late 1800s.
Giacomini and Capobianchi, Rome. Catalogue des objets d'art et d'ameublement qui garnissent le grand appartement au premier étage du palais du prince Borghese à Rome. March 28-April 9, 1892, unpaginated, lot 553, pl. 16.
Sotheby, Parke-Bernet, Los Angeles. Important European & American 19th Century Paintings, February 28, 1972, p. 11, lot 32A.
Chansigaud, Valérie. Une histoire des fleurs: Entre nature et culture (Paris: Delachaux et Niestlé, 2014), pp. 66-67, ill.