A large portrait of Vivien Chartres, by Vittorio Matteo Corcos,
Frame: height 175cm, width 95cm, depth 5cm
Canvas: height 171cm, width 90cm, depth 3cm
By the leading genre and portrait painter of late nineteenth and early twentieth century Italy, Vittorio Matteo Corcos, (1859-1933), this beautiful painting depicts the famous child prodigy Vivien Chartres. Corcos executed paintings of many a leading figure of Italian high society in high lifetime, and combined a meticulous eye for likeness and detail with a wonderfully free impressionistic touch, truly capturing the essence of the character of his subjects.
This work depicts as a full length portrait the child prodigy, violinist Vivien Chartres (Italian/British, 1893-1941), who was the daughter of writer Annie Vivanti (Italian/British, 1866-1942). Vivanti, a writer, is known for her exceptionally demanding approach to managing her daughter’s talent, lying about her age to make her seem even younger than she was, and eventually being fined under laws designed to protect children from exploitation for pushing her daughter too far. Vivien played for the likes of Queen Margherita of Italy and King Edward VII of Great Britain, and is shown here aged 14. The portrait is titled and dated: ‘Vivien Chartres / A.D. MCMVII’ to the upper right, and affectionately dedicated: ‘Alle Carissima Vivien (To my dearest Vivien) / V. Corcos / Firenze 1907.’The work is oil-on-canvas, mounted in a giltwood frame.