Young Italian Woman in Traditional Costume
  • Theodor Leopold Weller
  • Mannheim 1802 - 1880
  • Young Italian Woman in Traditional Costume, 1825
  • Pencil on vellum,
  • inscribed and dated: Subiaco Nov 25,
    inscribed in another hand on the lower left: F. Weller
  • 234 × 190 mm

Weller’s first residence in Italy, from 1825 to 1833, had a lasting effect on the artist and would also determine the subject matter of his pictures in the following years. Genre scenes with many figures dominated Weller’s repertoire, often prepared over a longer period of time with detailed individual studies and costume sketches.

Thus, the present drawing originated as early as 1825, the year of his arrival in Italy, but was only transposed in 1829 by Weller to his painting Buskers on the Piazza Montanara in Rome. As a spectator of the performance, this young woman balances a flat basket on her head (Fig.1).

The Piazza Montanara was a busy center of medieval Rome between the Capitoline Hill and the Tiber Island, nestled against the ancient semi-circular Teatro di Marcello, then covered in rubble. The theatre’s excavation and the reconfiguration of the streets in 1931 led to the destruction of the square.