Impressions of the Boulevard, Woman with a veil, 1893
Impressioni di boulevard. Donna con veletta
Wax over plaster
60 x 59 x 25 cm
This enigmatic piece is the earliest work that belongs to the Estorick Collection. It exemplifies Merdardo Rosso’s unconventional approach to sculpture in the way that the space around the figure is rendered as tangibly as the figure itself. She advances – even looms – towards us with her head slightly bowed, giving her a vaguely melancholy air. Certain details stand out, such as the brim of her elaborate bonnet and the shoulder pads of her close-fitting Victorian dress, with its tightly-buttoned collar. In contrast to these prominent details, however, her features are blurred and smoothed away, to give the effect of their being partially obscured by tulle or some other type of gauzy material. One of the work’s most distinctive features is that it was intended to be viewed from a single point of view – frontally – and is not modelled ‘in the round’, like most sculptures. The back of the work has not been covered with wax, and its internal iron framework can be glimpsed here and there in the exposed plaster.