La pompeiana

La pompeiana

Giovanni Segantini
1888-1890, Pastel and watercolour tempera on cardboard, 41 x 24 cm
rco, Comune di Arco - Collezione Comune di Arco


Segantini 1999, p. 120 (ill.), p. 226.


Trento 1999-2000; Arco 2021-2022

Scheda opera

The watercolour recovers a subject experimented by Segantini during his Brianza years in a canvas of 1882-1883 and reproposed in other versions in later years with some iconographic variations. The canvas depicts a woman who, prone on the bank of a pond, extends her right arm to collect water inside a jug: at her side is a sheep that has wandered away from the flock, intrigued by the gesture. In two pastel drawings on paper (Quinsac 1982, nos. 272-273) the sheep is still present, while in the other pastels (Quinsac 1982, nos. 274-275) and in the watercolour the composition is modified and the Pompeian woman is depicted alone, far from the flock, still in the act of drawing water from the spring. The pastoral motif of the fountain of the early 1980s, which returns in various compositions of the Brianza years as in Shepherd in Love, is enriched in the later versions with subtle Symbolist vibrations, in the accentuation of the relationship between the figure and the landscape, which are also reflected in the choice of colours in parallel with the experimentation with materials, such as the use of powdered gold, found in the work under examination.