Gerolamo Induno, The Sad Premonition, 1862
26.4 x 33.9 in.
Gerolamo Induno (1825-1890) was an Italian painter from Milan. After studying at the Brera Academy, Induno took part in the start of the First Italian War of Independence, known as the Five Days of Milan. Consequently, he became well known for his military scenes, which have a profound degree of reality and authenticity. One of Induno's most celebrated pieces shows a young man saying goodbye to his mother as he goes off to war. Induno also painted scenes of the aristocracy and a number of portraits, including a beautiful self-portrait, but, aside from his military paintings, he most celebrated for his genre paintings. These quiet depictions of everyday life depict Milanese people with a great amount of sensitivity and interest. The Sad Premonition (Triste Presentimento) seems to be a combination of Induno's two favorite genres. This is certainly a genre painting stylistically, showing a young woman in her bedroom early in the morning. However, thematically this is a military painting. She holds a token of her lover, her premonition being that he has died in battle. This is a stunning painting, with the bright light of morning and a beautifully appointed, if somewhat worn, room. The walls and furniture are rendered with great care and accuracy, invoking the true character of the room. Yet the sadness of this beautiful young woman makes the beauty of the room and the morning fall away. She sits lonely and despondent. The overall whiteness of the scene makes quite an impression, with the pale walls, bedspread, and garment. The sunlight whitens the shudders and casts its glow over the room. Her dark hair stands out with rich color. There is an intense stillness here; the woman is unable to move due to the weight of her premonition, and it feels as though the room itself cannot exhale due to the sadness of its occupant.