Traumatised by the death of his young son in 1881, de Pury moved to the small town of Chioggia, near Venice, in 1885, where he spent his summers. During this period, he began to paint picturesque Italian subjects. The young woman in Rosario (Chioggia) is shown holding a rosary and a prayer book, but instead of reading it, she directs her gaze outwards from the scene. The emphasis on this moment of distraction calls into question the simplicity of the composition, the piety and candour of the female figure, and creates a contemplative atmosphere. As if suspended in time, she seems to want to reveal something secret to us.
Oil on canvas, on loan from the Swiss Federal Art Collection, inv. FK 2016