Vittorio Corcos (Italian, 1859-1933) Vittorio Corcos attended the Accademia delle Belle Arti in Florence, where he studied drawing and painting with master Enrico Pollastrini. Between 1878 and 1879 he lived in Naples, where he was one of Domenico Morelli’s best students. He was intrigued by Morelli’s work, which was rich in literary associations. Morelli’s influence is illustrated in Arabo in Preghiera (The Praying Arab).

In 1880 Corcos moved to Paris and signed a two-week contract with the famous art dealer Goupil. Here he was befriended by Vincent van Gogh who also worked in Goupil’s Paris studio. Some of the most famous Italian artists of that time, such as Giovanni Boldini and Giuseppe de Nittis, were amongst Goupil’s protéges. Corcos often frequented the studio of Léon Bonnat, a portrait painter of wealthy Parisians and in doing so, successfully became part of elite art circles.

Whilst in Paris he exhibited at the Salon of 1881, 1882 and 1885 where his female portraits, scenes of modern life, and sophisticated interiors were highly praised. Though his work was greatly influenced by the vibrant colors and fluid brushstrokes of other masters in Goupil’s studio, like Boldini and De Nittis, Corcos also drew inspiration from the French Impressionist movement.
In 1887, Corcos returned to Italy and settled in Florence with his new wife Emma Ciabatti. Through his marriage, he came into contact with the elite intellectuals and aristocratic circles of Florence, who commissioned many of his paintings. As a result, Corcos became a much sought after portrait painter for the rich and noble families of the area. His pleasant paintings were very appreciated for the sensitive rendering of features, beautiful depiction of clothes, and composition. By the turn of the 20th century Corcos became famous as a portrait painter. He painted portraits for many important figures including the German Emperor, Wilhelm II in 1904, Queen Amelia of Portugal and Margherita of Savoy.

Gallery d’Arte Moderna. Florence, Italy: Protrait of the Violinist Federico Consolo
Uffizi Gallery. Florence, Italy: Autoritratto (Self-Portrait)