Vincenzo Gemito was a Neapolitan artist of the second half of the 19th century. Hostile to Neoclassicism is known above all for its realistic and vital sculptures, characterized by a great attention to the features and details. Many of his subjects, extremely realistic and vital, are taken from the Neapolitan environment.
A couple of times he leaves for Paris to exhibit in the famous Parisian Salons. There, in autumn of 1878, he entered in contact with the famous painter Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier, to whom he builds a sincere friendship.
Meissonier enjoyed respect for the entire Parisian artistic community. Even Gemito will not be insensitive to the charm of the great master, towards whom he will always witness an enormous admiration. The sculptor finds in Meissonier not only a moral support. In fact, Meissonier welcomes him in his studio in rue Malesherbes, deciding to take it under his protection.
Gemito arrives in Meissonier's atelier in the years when the artist begins to take an interest in the sculpture, through the creation a series of bronze and red wax statuettes. Gemito here portrays the same teacher caught standing in the act of painting.
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