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Signora Felice Bocca Stretta
Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Signora Felice Bocca Stretta
c.1751-52 (undated)
Black chalk and stump on white paper
163 x 228 mm
6 3/8 x 9 in.
Half-length female figure facing to the front, her smiling face inclined forwards and her proper right arm stretched out to her side. She wears a small lace bonnet, a bow round her neck, and a dress tightly bound at the waist
Baltimore 1979-80 (55); London, Cardiff and New Haven, 1982-83 (22)
Chambers Hall Gift, 1855
Unsigned; inscribed in black chalk by the artist upper right: 'Sigra. Felice Bocca Stretto'
[1] Lower right corner: Chambers Hall (Lugt 551)
[2] Lower right corner: Oxford University Galleries (Lugt 2003)
'Signora Happy Narrow Mouth' was drawn from the life in Italy, probably in Venice, where Wilson was still principally interested in portraiture. The drawing is no. 4 (Girl with wide Mouth) in the Ashmolean's inventory of the Chambers Hall Gift. It is one of a few figure studies verging on caricature, dating from Wilson's first years in Italy, and predominantly originating from the collection of William Lock.
Brown 1982, p. 657, no. 1883, pls 536 & XL; Solkin 1982, p. 158