Size: 28 1/4 x 32 inches
Condition: Hand-signed gouache and crayon artwork on paper. Framed.
A modest, yet boldly dressed Spanish woman poses in her silk mantones de Manila-so-called because the embroidered-and-fringed shawls were shipped to Spain from China via the port of Manila. These shawls fell out of fashion as a staple of women's wardrobes during the mid-to-latter-nineteenth century, but the popularity of Carmen during the early-twentieth created a renewed interest in the accessory. Here, however, we're presented with the real deal: a confident Andalusian beauty quite simply comfortable in her native wardrobe, not to mention her own skin. An understated elegance pervades the Cappiello portrait, an unforced fondness that would seem to indicate an affinity between artist and subject. Much has been made, can be made and will continue to be made over Cappiello's significance to the world of advertising. But rarely do you ever hear anyone expound on his virtues as a fine artist working outside the medium of lithographic promotion. However, it's difficult not to notice his artistic authority in this portrait.