Portrait of the Actress Hélène Wnorowska
Amedeo Bocchi (1883-1976)
1928, Oil on canvas
In the autumn of 1927, Amedeo Bocchi, a painter from Parma, was commissioned by Polish actress Hélène Wnorowska to produce frescos in the games room of her villa and to paint a full-length portrait of her. The portrait exhibited here was left unfinished by the artist after the actress, tired of standing for many hours, asked him to do another one, but seated. (That painting was later shown at the Venice Biennale in 1930 and is now in a private collection in Parma). This portrait is an elegant work which exhibits the formal values of the Viennese Secession – Bocchi looked, in particular, to the elegance of Klimt. Although influenced by Divisionism, Symbolism, and Art Nouveau, Bocchi developed his own individual style, and contributed to 20th century art history a patient exploration of the pictorial value of light and the elegant use of line, to which this portrait bears precious witness.