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CESARE MUSSINI
(Berlin 1804 - Florence 1879)
THE CONSPIRACY AGAINST CHARLES I OF ANJOU

Pen and brown ink. Signed, dated and titled in brown ink at the lower right C. Mussini 1841 / Conspiration contre Charles I.
388 x 496 mm.

PROVENANCE:
Marchese Massimo Taparelli d’Azeglio (Turin 1798 - 1866); hence by descent.

Our drawing illustrates the conspiracy against Charles I of Anjou, which is connected with the famous rebellion of the Sicilian Vespers of 1282. It is interesting to remember that this revolt was also the subject of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera I Vespri Siciliani, first performed in 1855.

 

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Cesare Mussini was born to a family of artists, his parents were both musicians and his brother Luigi was an appreciated painter. Cesare studied at the Florentine Accademia under Pietro Benvenuti and Giuseppe Bezzuoli and, after winning a scholarship at the Accademia, he was able to study in Rome from 1828 to 1831. In Rome he became friends with French intellectuals and artists such as François-René de Chateaubriand, the French ambassador, and Horace Vernet, the director of the French Academy. Upon his return to Florence, he followed the taste of his patriotic patrons and executed history paintings celebrating glorious moments of the past, as the Pazzi Conspiracy (1835) now in the Museo Civico di Livorno. After marrying a German noble woman in 1940, Mussini traveled widely in both Prussia and Russia where he was very successful.