Giulia Grisi (1811–1869)

Image credit: Royal Academy of Music

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This painting of the Italian opera singer Giulia Grisi (1811–1869) was exhibited at the Royal Opera House in its retrospective exhibition in 1982. In 1992 it was lent to the bicentenary exhibition in celebration of the birth of Gioachino Rossini in Pesaro, Italy. Grisi is seated on a balcony, wearing a dress of white lace, with a black lace shawl and half-gloves and simple elegant jewellery. The artist seems to have been influenced by Raphael in the painting of her face. Beyond the balustrade is a verdant landscape, with a white classical villa high on the hill to the right. Grisi created roles in many famous bel canto operas. She took part with her partner, the tenor Giovanni Mario, in the opening performance of the opera house at Covent Garden, following the rebuilding in 1858 after the last fire, and in an earlier fundraising concert for the Royal Academy of Music in 1834.

Royal Academy of Music



Giulia Grisi (1811–1869)




oil on canvas


H 129 x W 94.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

presented by Mr Malcolm Aird, 1917

Work type


Inscription description

F. Bouchot 1840


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