Provenance:Collezione avv. Rettore Venezia, Galleria Forni di Bologna.
5 Febbraio 1909: Bologna Avanguardia Futurista, ed. B. Buscaroli, Bologna 2009;
Lauren Davis Huber, The velveteen daughter, 2017;
U. Nebbia, Cronache veneziane, La mostra di Ca’ Pesaro, in “Emporium”, vol. LXII, n. 368, agosto 1925 p.123
Further information:Vittorio Petrella, a self-taught Bolognese painter who was best known for his Venetian views, foreshortenings, nocturnes and masks, was launched into notoriety in October 1914, during an exhibition of Amici dell'Arte in Turin, when King Vittorio Emanuele III himself bought one of his paintings. In his youth the artist had participated in the Futurist Movement, which the city of Bologna had introduced with an article that published its Manifesto in "La Gazzetta dell'Emilia" a few days earlier than in Le Figaro. A gold medallist at the inaugural exhibition of views of Bologna in 1924, Vittorio Petrella was extremely prominent in the Venetian artistic environment of the twenties and thirties, taking part in all the Biennale's as well as exhibitions held at the Ca 'Pesaro Gallery. He was also active abroad, exhibiting his works in Paris, London, New York and Chicago.
A lesser known but equally important biographical note is that the artist taught Pamela Bianco (1906 - 1994), a successful English painter and illustrator who was considered a genius from her childhood. First admired by the sculptor Leonardo Bistolfi, by the age of twelve Pamela had exhibited at the Tate Gallery in London, and then at the National Gallery and the South Kensington Museum, her works were appreciated and purchased by renowned collectors including Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. The daughter of acclaimed American writer Margery Williams and Turinese scholar and bookseller Francesco Bianco, the child prodigy was entrusted by her father to close friend Petrella at the age of eleven, whilst he lived in San Remo.
Red Rose Venice, painted directly onto glass, has retained perfectly the brilliance of its original colours. An eighteenth-century lady wears a purple dress and winks as she offers us a red rose, whilst the background offers the viewer a glimpse of Venice with her colourful mooring posts appearing like candy canes, suspended bridges, and blue sky punctuated by cotton wool clouds. The lavishly dressed ladies transport us to the eighteenth century representations of sumptuous Venetian masquerade balls. The image would later appear on the elegant invitation cards, with which the milliner Pierina Guglielmi announced the release of her new collection, inviting her refined clientele to visit her atelier in Turin. The event would see row upon row of ladies dressed in black,
with Bauta masks covering their faces and tricorn hats, as if multiplied by an infinity mirror.