Adriano Bonifazi, a painter of Neapolitan origin, was active in Rome from 1875 until at least the 1890s. There is very little information about the artist, so it is not possible to fully reconstruct his biographical events. However, thanks to the pictorial evidence, we know that he certainly worked between Rome, Subiaco and Capri.
Popular portraits and genre scenes in costume between Rome, Subiaco and Capri
Adriano Bonifazi is best known for his numerous portraits of young girls in typical costume and for small genre scenes in bucolic and peasant settings, always closely linked to the context of their origin, the Latium countryside, Ciociaria, Sabina and Capri. With these works, the painter achieved great success especially in the English market, which was particularly interested in collecting children’s figurines in regional costumes.
It is certain that he travelled frequently to England: he exhibited in London mainly between the 1870s and 1880s, in particular at the New British Institution in 1875, at Christie’s, Manson & Woods the following year and in 1877 at Everard’s Gallery. Among the works presented on these occasions were Girl of Abruzzi and Fisher boy of Capri.
In 1883, the painter appeared in one of the few Italian exhibitions that can be included in his biography: he took part in the National Exhibition of Fine Arts in Rome with his two anecdotal genre scenes During the meal and After the meal.
In 1892, he was at the Genoa Promotrice with two popular Portraits. Bonifazi’s entire production is therefore characterised by a simple verism and by an exclusive focus on subjects in typical costume, in a desire to exalt an all-Italian typicality that appeals to the light taste of the foreign market, interested in the genuine and authentic purity of the Mediterranean tradition. Sources indicate that Adriano Bonifazi’s period of activity ended around the mid-1890s. He died in Rome in 1914.