Awaiting Success

Esperando o Sucesso

Henrique César de Araújo Pousão (1859-1884)

Rome, 1882

Oil on canvas

Inventory sheet

In this work, Henrique Pousão subverts the classic theme of the ciociaro, inhabitant of the Italian region of Lazio, represented here as a mischievous, half-clothed boy, captured not posing, but at the very moment when he is resting from his pose and has dared to sketch someone’s portrait. The idea of the improvised artist, a precocious and natural genius, who takes advantage of the painter’s absence to take his place and show his work, in the expectation of an uncertain reception, are aspects that function almost like a projection of the artist’s circumstance onto that of his model. This work thus reveals an unexpected artistic ‘manifesto’ sent by the young painter to his masters. Painted in Rome in 1882, Pousão sent it from there to the Academia Portuense de Belas Artes, as part of the consignment of works from his second year as a scholarship student abroad.