Woman in a Hat and Undergarments

Ernesto Fontana (1837 - 1918)

Oil on canvas

c.1880-1890
  • About the work
    Location
    Country: Other
    City: other locations abroad

    This risqué, late Victorian painting shows a young woman in her bedroom, having removed her black satin dress to reveal her undergarments. Remarkably she still wears her hat and her and the shoulder strap of her bodice is decorated with wild flowers. The lace of her undergarments and the decorated fabric covering the bed are skilfully painted. The woman pulls on the pearls around her neck and a pale pink rose rests on the pillows beside her.

  • About the artist
    Ernesto Fontana was born in Milan and was a pupil of Francesco Hayez and Giuseppe Bertini. He began his career painting historical subjects and later produced romanticised images of women, before working as an illustrator for the publications ‘L’Illustration Italiana’ and ‘L’Illustration Universal’. Fontana was also commissioned to paint frescoes and ceiling designs for villas and churches. Some survive today, including those at Villa Erba and Villa Olmo, both on Lake Como. Perhaps his best works are portraits of his contemporaries, including those of Leo Delibes (1836-1891) and Jules Emile Massenet (1842-1912). Fontana exhibited in both Italy and Switzerland. During the last years of his life he lived in Cureglia, Switzerland.
  • Explore
    Places
    Subjects
    female portrait
    Materials & Techniques
    canvas, oil, oil painting
  • Details
    Title
    Woman in a Hat and Undergarments
    Date
    c.1880-1890
    Medium
    Oil on canvas
    Dimensions
    height: 117.00 cm, width: 91.00 cm
    Acquisition
    Origin uncertain
    Inscription
    br: Er.sto Fontana
    GAC number
    18235