16 x 28 in. (40.6 x 71.1 cm)
(Marseille, France, 1824 – 1886, Marseille, France)
Medium and Support:
Oil on cradled panel
Gift of the Estate of Emily and James Sibley Watson
Location: Not currently on view
Monticelli was captivated by the rich colors and brushwork of Venetian Renaissance painting and of his somewhat older French contemporary Delacroix. By 1860 he was already experimenting with the softened effects that the Impressionists would adopt only in the 1880s. Van Gogh was fascinated by the light in Monticelli's canvasas, which seem to emanate from the colors themselves, rather than from an outside source. In this late work, which depicts one of the artist's favorite festive themes, form and color mysteriously melt together.
[Adapted from gallery label text, 1999]