1841-1917 | Italian
Les deux soeurs
(The two sisters)
Signed and dated "Zandomeneghi 95" (lower left)
Oil on canvas
Two sisters enjoy a quiet moment in a rich green landscape in this intimate oil on canvas from Federico Zandomeneghi. An Italian painter by birth who became a fixture in the Parisian Impressionist scene, Zandomeneghi is best remembered for his sentimental and affectionate scenes of women in both domestic and public spheres.
Zandomeneghi’s creative and technical prowess in composition is highlighted in this painting. The artist deftly frames the young pair in the lower register of the canvas, imbuing the work with a remarkably observational feel. The girls pensively gaze off to the right, lost in thought; Zandomeneghi allows the viewer to witness a natural moment of discussion and contemplation shared among the sisters. The soft palette employed by the artist gives the whole scene an atmospheric glow, with dappled rays of sunshine breaking through the lush foliage. Though the girls remain in the shaded areas of the landscape, Zandomeneghi’s skillful application of paint allows a brightness to remain nevertheless.
Federico Zandomeneghi was born in Venice to a long line of neoclassical sculptors. As if created to be an artist, Zandomeneghi began his artistic education early, enrolling in the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice at just 15 years old before transferring to the Academy of Fine Arts in Milan. By 1862, the artist had arrived in Florence, where he became fast acquaintances with several Italian artists dedicated to executing landscape paintings en plein air. Zandomeneghi embraced the spontaneity, seeking to bring unparalleled luminosity to his works.
When Zandomeneghi arrived in Paris in 1874, he found kindred spirits among the French Impressionists shortly after their first exhibition, sharing a common style. His close friend and artistic great Edgar Degas invited him to participate in four of the Impressionists’ later exhibitions. In the meantime, “Zandò,” as his French friends called him, began to form a relationship with the famed Durand-Ruel gallery in Paris, which hosted a solo show of his work in 1893. The year he painted Les deux soeurs, the acclaimed art dealer executed a contract with Zandomeneghi to show his work across Europe and the United States.
Today, many artworks by this Italian Impressionist reside in museums, including the Galleria d’Arte Modern in Palermo and the Palazzo Te in Mantua. Beloved for his serene compositions and impressionistic palette, Zandomeneghi remains popular in the market among collectors.
Canvas: 18¼“ high by 15¼” wide
Framed: 27 1/4“ high by 23 1/2“ wide by 2 3/4" deep
Durand-Ruel & Cie, Paris, 1895, no. 3608 (purchased from the artist on December 23, 1895)
Durand-Ruel & Cie, New York, no. 1582
D.S. Miller, (acquired from the above February 18, 1898)
Jacqueline Stewart, California (since 1950s)
Thence by descent
M.S. Rau, New Orleans