ANCONA, Vito d'
(b. 1825, Pesaro, d. 1884, Firenze)

Portrait of Gioacchino Rossini

1874
Oil on canvas, 85 x 66 cm
Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), Florence

D'Ancona moved to Paris in 1868, the year the composer of such famous operas like the Barber of Seville and Cinderella died. This posthumous portrait of Rossini, who spent several decades in the French capital where he was known for his sharp wit, appears to have been executed from a photograph, as its oval format may indicate. In the wave of renewed Italian nationalism, the painting may have been intended as a symbolic gesture to bring the Italian composer back to his native country.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 8 minutes):
Gioacchino Rossini: L'Italiana in Algeri, overture