A Man Seated and Asleep

Giuseppe Abbati Italian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 815

This picture’s lack of pretense, evident from its everyday subject and the grain of the wood panel visible through the paint layer, is characteristic of Macchiaioli painting, of which Abbati was a leading exponent. Macchia is an Italian word for "spot" or "stain," as seen here in sun-struck passages adjacent to pools of deep shadow, and aiolo refers to humble forms of labor in Tuscan vernacular. This painting’s forthright realism is analogous to innovations in French art of the 1850s and 60s, which, in Italy, was the period of political unification known as the Risorgimento.

A Man Seated and Asleep, Giuseppe Abbati (Italian, Naples 1836–1868 Florence), Oil on wood

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