A woman sits on the ground in this watercolor depiction by the Italian Realist artist, Giacomo Favretto, and is surrounded by vegetables—some in baskets with markers indicating the price and some with newspaper under them—that she has for sale. As she waits for customers, she knits, and her child plays with a cat to the right.
The Venetian painter and draughtsman Giacomo Favretto (1849-1887) began studies at the Accademia in Venice at the age of fifteen and remained there until 1875. His early interiors and portraits were influenced by the realistic style of Michele Cammarano (1835-1920). His popularity as an artist began in 1878 when he mounted a one-man show to favorable reviews at the Brera in Milan and also exhibited at the Exposition Universelle in Paris, which he visited with Guglielmo Ciardi (1842-1917). On his Paris trip, he had hoped to meet French Impressionist artists and learn more about their new painting style, but the experience seems to have had little effect on his art.
Mildred Bliss’s mother, Anna Blakesley Barnes Bliss, purchased this watercolor in Venice in 1898. She either gave it to her daughter or it became part of the Blisses’ collection at the time of the mother’s death in 1935.
"Venezia a Londra, Mostra Artistico Industriale Italiana, Sezione Belle Arti," London, 1891-1892.
Purchased for from Pa. Besarel Fres, Venice (dealers), by Anna Barnes Bliss, 5/21/1898.
Collection of Anna Barnes Bliss, New York, New York and Montecito, California, until either gifted at an unknown date or bequeathed in her estate to Mildred Barnes Bliss, 1935.
Collection of Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss, Washington, D.C., 1935 (?)-1/17/1969.
Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, House Collection, Washington, D.C.