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A female figure sits on a chair with her legs crossed at the ankles and in her right hand balancing a book. This sculpture belongs to the artistic tradition of Realism or verismo where all of its aspects are true to nature. The sculptor also expresses emotional and political meaning through his subtle use of attributes. The worn-out chair and rough floor suggest that the subject comes from a working family, and the way she is sitting, along with the nightdress that has slipped from her shoulder unnoticed, indicates that she is totally absorbed in the book – which has made her cry. She is reading a novel by Giovanni Battista Niccolini, the author whose work championed the freedom of Italy from Austrian oppression. La Garibaldina, wears a medallion of Guiseppi Garibaldi (1807–1882), revealing her to be a sympathiser with the popular struggle for Italian reunification.

University of Birmingham







H 91.4 x W (?) x D (?) cm

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University of Birmingham

Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands B15 2TT England

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