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CARLO ANTONIO RAINERI Milan 1756 – 1826 Milan
A Pair of Silk Fans with Wading Birds, one a Roseate Spoonbill and the other a Blue Heron.
Gouache on blue-green silk, stretched on heavy wire frames with turned fruitwood handles. In very good condition, some slight staining of the silk and very slight losses to the gouache; one of the handles with an old split. Mounted on associated turned ebonized bases.
We are grateful to Enrico Cortona who first recognized our fans as the work of Raineri, as he owns several fans by Raineri in his private collection in Milan. Raineri specialized in such paintings of birds on colored silk. They were often placed in fans, an indispensa- ble female accouterment during the period. A 1994 exhibition at Villa Della Porta Bozzolo, Casalzuigno, Italy details the activities of Carlo Antonio and his son Vincenzo.
The carefully turned fruitwood handles, the finely woven blue-green silk and the skillful, richly detailed painting mark our fans as deluxe, esoteric objects. One of our birds is a roseate spoonbill, native to the southeastern United States and much of South America. The bird above is a kingfisher. The other fan shows a great blue heron, native to North and Central American and very rarely found in Europe.
These finely detailed representations of birds are a manifestation of the 18th century interest in exotic creatures, as a function of the interest in distant lands, and as well, as an expression of the refinement of the culture of the nobility and the rising middle classes.
275 x 244 mm 10 7/8 x 9 5/8 inches
wooden handle 130 mm 5 1/8 inches