A Roman Feast

Object Details

Title:

A Roman Feast

Artist/Maker(s):

Roberto Bompiani (Italian (Roman), 1821 - 1908)

Culture:

Italian

Date:

late 19th century

Medium:

Oil on canvas

Dimensions:

127 x 163.8 cm (50 x 64 1/2 in.)

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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 one 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.

Provenance
- 1892

Private Collection [sold, Palazzo Borghese, Rome, March 28-April 9, 1892, lot 553.]

- 1972

Private Collection [sold, Sotheby's, Los Angeles, February 28, 1972, lot 32A, to the J. Paul Getty Museum.]

Exhibitions
Picturing the Ancient World (May 4 to August 30, 1993) (no cat.)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), May 4 to August 30, 1993
Bibliography

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.

Jaffé, David. Summary Catalogue of European Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 11, ill.

Chansigaud, Valérie. Une histoire des fleurs: Entre nature et culture (Paris: Delachaux et Niestlé, 2014), pp. 66-67, ill.