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Telemaco Signorini, Sketch for 'Straw Weavers at Settignano'

Key facts
Full title Sketch for 'Straw Weavers at Settignano'
Artist Telemaco Signorini
Artist dates 1835 - 1901
Date made about 1880
Medium and support Oil on laminated board
Dimensions 16.1 × 13.2 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Presented in memory of Beniamino Forti by his daughter Luciana, 2008
Inventory number NG6610
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Sketch for 'Straw Weavers at Settignano'
Telemaco Signorini

A young woman sits at a table weaving straw, her head tilted to one side as she concentrates on her task. Her hands have not been painted behind the rapidly brushed-in wooden post, but we can imagine them busy at work.

This sketch, made in about 1880, is a first idea for one of Signorini’s most famous paintings, Straw Weavers at Settignano, which exists in three versions. It shows craft workers in Settignano, a village in the hills above Florence. Straw weaving was only introduced to the area in around 1840.

Signorini was a member of a group of Florentine painters known as the Macchiaioli (which means mark or spot-makers), who rejected the conventions taught by Italian art academies in favour of an art based on modern life. They worked outdoors to capture natural colour and light, and were forerunners of the Impressionists.

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