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Art Collection Curatorial European Exhibitions

From the Collection–On the Eve of Her Wedding by Antonio Mancini

A number of artists featured in the special exhibition Of Heaven and Earth: 500 Years of Italian Painting from Glasgow Museums are represented in the collection of the Milwaukee Art Museum. This is the third in a series of blog posts that will highlight Milwaukee’s paintings during the run of the exhibition.

Antonio Mancini (Italian, 1852–1930), On the Eve of Her Wedding, ca. 1882. Oil on canvas. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. S. S. Merrill M1919.33. Photo by John Glembin.
Antonio Mancini (Italian, 1852–1930), On the Eve of Her Wedding, ca. 1882. Oil on canvas. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. S. S. Merrill M1919.33. Photo by John Glembin.

In researching a museum’s collection, the story behind the acquisition of an artwork can sometimes be just as interesting as the artwork itself. The Milwaukee Art Museum’s On the Eve of Her Wedding by Antonio Mancini (Italian, 1852-1930) is a great example.

Mancini began his artistic studies at the age of 12. In 1875 and again in 1877, he visited Paris—then the center of the avant-garde world—where he met French Impressioninists Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917) and Edouard Manet (French, 1832-1883). Mancini’s loose, expressive brushstroke and dark color choices were clearly influenced by Manet. At one point, John Singer Sargent (American, 1856-1925) declared Mancini to be the greatest living painter.