Francesco Hayez, (1791–1882)
The Kiss, c. 1859
Oil on canvas
Height: 110 cm (43.3″); Width: 88 cm (34.6″)
Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan, Italy
Francesco Hayez (10 February 1791 – 21 December 1882) was
an Italian painter, the leading artist of Romanticism in mid-19th-century
Milan, renowned for his grand historical paintings, political allegories and
exceptionally fine portraits.
from a relatively poor family from Venice. He was brought up by his mother's
sister, who had married a well-off shipowner and collector of art. From
childhood he showed a predisposition for drawing, so his uncle apprenticed him
to an art restorer. Later he became a student of the painter Francesco
Maggiotto with whom he continued his studies for three years. He was admitted
to the painting course of the New Academy of Fine Arts in 1806. In 1809 he won
a competition from the Academy of Venice for one year of study at the Accademia
di San Luca in Rome. He remained in Rome until 1814, then moved to Naples where
he was commissioned by Joachim Murat to paint a major work depicting Ulysses at
the court of Alcinous. In the mid-1830s he attended the "Salotto
Maffei" salon in Milan.
Francesco Hayez lived long and was prolific. His output
spanned both historic paintings, and Neoclassic style grand themes, either from
biblical or classical literature. He also painted scenes from theatrical
presentations of his day. More Francesco Hayez
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