Matteo Vittorio Corcos
(Livorno, 1859 - Florence, 1933)


  • Author: Vittorio Matteo Corcos (Livorno, 1859 - Florence, 1933)  

  • Technique: oil on canvas 75 x 62 cm

Victor Corcos. 
Born in Livorno and enrolled as a young man at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, Corcos chooses Naples as an alternative destination for his Tuscan education by meeting, between 1878 and 1879, Domenico Morelli who convinced him to go to Paris where the artist will bind to the merchant Goupil - in which Boldini and De Nittis gravitated in those same years - and will inaugurate his brilliant and worldly streak in line with the aspirations of the French to celebrate every aspect of modern life. Assiduous in Léon Bonnat's studio, also frequented by Toulouse-Lautrec, Corcos presents his paintings at the Salons, he applies himself to painting en plein air demonstrating, in small and precious landscapes, an intelligent update on the developments of contemporary European art; he does not fail to participate in the evenings of the De Nittis lounge, artist and friend from whom he derives the atmospheric lightness of certain of his urban and marine views as well as the grace of the female portraits that will make Corcos' international fortune as an inimitable "peintre des jolies femmes" sought by beautiful world at the end of the century but also by prestigious personalities of the early thirty of the twentieth century.
In 1887, after converting from the Jewish to the Catholic religion, he married Emma Ciabatti widow Rotigliano and settled permanently in Florence, which he would abandon only for occasional business trips to London and Paris. In the climate of Umbertine Italy, the subjects dealt with by Corcos reflect, thanks to their enthralling narrative, the literary suggestions of naturalism and transalpine symbolism; while his wife's intellectual acquaintances will introduce the artist to the 'Marzocco' cenacle, the newspaper that operated between the solemn decline of Carducci, the intimate observatory of Pascoli's 'little boy', the sumptuous workshop of Gabriele d'Annunzio.
There is no shortage of Corcos catalogs of small landscapes, seascapes and paintings inspired by the life of the fields, declined in the style that included scenes of rustic, joyful or melancholic life, set in large-scale natural scenarios also studied on the French models of Millet and Breton equally loved, in Tuscany, by the painters friends Cannicci, Gioli, Tommasi, Cecconi, Signorini. As well as being the author of a famous portrait of Carducci, a frequent visitor to the family's literary salon, Corcos was the author of official retrospective portraits (Giuseppe Garibaldi), of intense snapshots of contemporary characters (Mascagni, Yorick, Lega,), of elegant icons of his time (Lina Cavalieri, Anna Morosini, Yole Biaggini Moschini) but was also called to very prestigious positions, such as those relating to the portraits of Carlos and Amalia of Portugal (1904), of Emperor William II (1904), of Queen Margherita (1922 ), of Queen Maria José (1931). On the sidelines of that fortunate activity, it can be remembered what Corcos himself declared regarding his representative method: “In a portrait what matters are the eyes; if they succeed as I want, with the right expression, the rest comes by itself ".
Corcos' literary interests manifested themselves, hand in hand, in his collaboration with the 'Marzocco' and the 'Tribuna'; in a volume of short stories (Mademoiselle Le Prince, Livorno 1901); in his participation in the editorial projects of Pascoli (correspondent of his wife, whom the poet called the "kind unknown") who had united him to Nomellini and De Carolis in the decorative planning of their volumes. In 1913 Corcos will donate his self-portrait to the Uffizi Gallery.

Contact Us

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)


Leave us a message