(b. 1843, Roma, d. 1921, Roma)

The Fruit Vendor

Oil on canvas, 24 x 19 cm
Galleria dell'Arte Moderna, Palazzo Pitti, Florence

This scene of a street vendor observed in Rome expresses a sympathetic but dispassionate sense of isolation and despair. The woman has turned her gaze away from the viewer toward a man in uniform, seen from the back. A sense of unease or disappointment emanates from the twisted body of the woman, who seems to be getting up to leave her post at any moment. Intense light and strong colours expose a moment of delicate social interaction, while at the same time the artist does not provide a hint as to what might have occurred or what will happen next.