|"Foster Brothers" Ref: ROS-VS7000|
| by G Magni|
Engraving Size: 29 x 36 ins / 74 x 90 cm
Image Size: 24 x 30 ins / 60 x 76 cm
This beautiful image depicts an Italian peasant fondly watching over her young child and kitten, both of whom are sitting on her lap. The mother has affectionately put one arm around the child and is holding a bowl of milk for the kitten with her other hand. Both the mother and child are lovingly watching the kitten, in the hope that their pet will drink the milk. Children with their pets was a much-loved subject among the Victorians. Records of the House of Commons for 1845 include a comment about fashionable art from one of the most astute students of the contemporary publishing market, Henry Graves. "Giving them the subjects which are suited to their tastes; that is the main thing...they will not buy them if you do not give them a subject which they value". Graves captures perfectly the reason why so many of the popular images from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are sentimental in tone, as is the case in the Italian, Giuseppe Magni's (1869-1956), Foster Brothers. As art societies, institutions and galleries sprung up around the country, the pictorial tastes of the nation were greatly developed, and particularly those of the rising middle classes, now with both money and the wish to emulate their social superiors in their pursuit of an appreciation of all things artistic.