Alberto Fabbi [1858-1906] : Psalm practice, ca.1870s.


Alberto Fabbi [1858-1906]
Italian Orientalist painter, illustrator and furniture designer
Psalm practice, ca.1870s
Oil on canvas
? x ? inches [unframed] | ? x ? inches [framed]

1980s Psalm practice

Original untouched condition in period frame.

One of the great Italian Orientalist painters of the 1800s, Alberto Fabbi (1858-1906) painted this intimate gem called Psalm practice, ca.1870s.  The work depicts a Franciscan friar helping a parishioner to learn a Psalm.  The psalm is in Latin.  The painting is completely fresh to the market having not be out of storage for more than 30 years.

1980s ( David Smernoff, New Haven, CT & New York, NY ) ;
after ca.1870s Private collection of [unknown] ;
ca.1870s Alberto Fabbi [1858-1906], the artist .

– [none known] ;

– [none known] ;

Alberto Fabbi (1858-1906) was an Italian Orientalist painter, illustrator and furniture designer. He was born in Bologna, Italy along with his brother Fabio Fabbi (1861-1945) who was also a painter. Alberto developed a passion for exotic cultures which was popular in Europe in the late 19th century, sparked by events like Napoleon’s Egyptian campaign, the reopening of Japan, and European colonialism. He frequently traveled to exotic locations like Egypt, where he lived for several years.

Fabbi was known for creating Orientalist paintings, drawings, and furniture that portrayed a romanticized and exotic view of non-European cultures. Along with his brother Fabio, Alberto designed an Egyptian-inspired bedroom in 1890 for Palazzo Gonzaga in Guastalla, including a bed with a pyramid-shaped headboard and chests of drawers depicting ancient Middle Eastern cities. His paintings and illustrations featured subjects like Egyptian flower sellers, warriors, cities, and landscapes. While not always historically accurate, Fabbi’s orientalist works aimed to evoke an exotic, sensual and fanciful version of the Middle East and North Africa for 19th century European audiences.

Fabbi exhibited his paintings internationally and sold works across the world, as evidenced by a recently rediscovered watercolor titled The Flower Seller bearing a tag from a Brooklyn department store. He lived and worked for many years in Egypt before passing away in 1906. Fabbi was part of the wider 19th century Orientalist art movement and remains a notable Italian painter and designer from that era.