Black chalk and watercolour. Signed and dated PMariani / Bordighera 914. 184 x 244 mm.
The theme of the olive trees, derived from the study of the woods around of Bordighera, where the artist has been living steadily since 1907, appears repeatedly in the works of Mariani. His notebooks have shown this interest since 1898, when Mariani was visiting for the first time the seaside resort. In the years of maturity the studies focus on the work of cutting and harvesting olives. An emblematic painting of this subject is preserved in the collection of the Fondazione Cariplo.
Mariani's mother was the sister of the celebrated painter Mosè Bianchi and at an early age Mariani became acquainted with the artistic circles of Milan. He studied painting in Monza with Eleuterio Pagliano. Various exhibitions in the 1880s helped him to establish a strong reputation, and in the 1880s and 1890s he developed the range of his favourite subject matter: harbour life at Genoa, duck shooting on the tributaries of the Ticino river, the racecourse at S Siro, and most especially, elegant women both in the cafés in Milan and the gaming tables of Monte Carlo. His work was internationally acclaimed. In 1923 a major retrospective at the Galleria Pesaro, Milan, included 348 paintings as well as etchings and monotypes.