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On a Journey
Antonio Mancini
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An old man seated in a train carriage is interrupted in his reverie by our arrival with its hope that the boredom of a long journey will be alleviated. The painting is a character study of a uniquely modern experience, train travel, for which the model was Mancini’s father, Paolo, formerly a tailor in Naples. In the years around 1900 he lived with his son in Rome, overseeing his precarious mental health and frequently posing for him. The intensely worked surface of the painting, especially in subsidiary areas like the man’s clothing, makes the painting somewhat difficult to read, but such effects were much admired by contemporary collectors. One was his London patroness Mary Hunter, who arranged to show the painting at the Royal Academy in 1904, bestowing on it the French title En voyage. It came to the National Gallery with the Hugh Lane Bequest of 1917.

Key facts
Artist Antonio Mancini
Artist dates 1852 - 1930
Full title On a Journey
Date made about 1903
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 96.5 x 57.8 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Sir Hugh Lane Bequest, 1917
Inventory number NG3256
Location in Gallery Not on display
On loan to Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane
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