Vittorio Matteo Corcos(Leghorn 1859 - Florence 1933)Born in Leghorn on 4 October 1859, in the 1870s Corcos studied at the"Accademia delle Belle Arti di Firenze" under Enrico Pollastrini.Between 1878 and 1879 he was in Naples at Domenico Morellis studiowhose work, rich in literary associations and formal ideas made a greatimpression on him. A work that illustrates Morellis influence, "Araboin preghiera" (The Praying Arab), dates from this period.In 1880 Corcos moved to Paris where he signed a two-week contractwith the Goupil Art Gallery. From time to time he went to the studio ofLéon Bonnat, portrait painter to the Parisian upper middle class andhe successfully became part of elite art circles. For his own paintings hechose fashionable themes: female portraits, scenes of modern life,sophisticated interiors painted in vibrant colours and fluidbrushstrokes, works in the style of Boldini and De Nittis. Between 1881and 1886, the year when he returned to Italy, he frequently exhibited atthe Salon.
He settled in Florence and in 1887 married Emma Ciabatti, Rotiglianoswidow, and it was through his marriage that he came into contact withintellectuals such as Carducci and D’Annunzio. His lively, pleasantpaintings, especially his portraits, were very well received in Florentinecultural and aristocratic circles which were the source of many of hiscommissions: "Portrait of the Countess Annina Morosini" (Ritratto dellaContessa Annina Morosini"), "Portrait of the Countess Nerina Volpi diMisurata" (Ritratto della contessa Nerina Volpi di Misurata), "Portraitof Carducci, Puccini and Mascagni" (Ritratto di Carducci, Puccini eMascagni). In 1913 his "Autoritratto" (Self-Portrait) joined the Uffizicollection.By the turn of the 20th century Corcos had become famous as a portraitpainter. In 1904, in Germany, he painted portraits of Wilhelm II, theEmpress and many important German figures, a little later he paintedthe portrait of Queen Amelia and later still, by now at the end of hiscareer, the "Ritratto di Margherita di Savoia" (Portrait of Margherita ofSavoy).