Tommasi, Publio De (1849-1914; Italian)
The Public Writer 1880
Watercolour, c.127 x 101.6 cm
Purchased, 1881
Present location unknown

[photo as reproduced in NGV 1894]

This picturesque image of daily life in 19th-century Rome, bought from the 1880 Melbourne International Exhibition, was reproduced in the 1894 and 1905 NGV catalogues, as shown here.

Works by this artist (whose dates vary in different sources) still appear on the art market. A comparable but slightly smaller 1882 watercolour, The Toast, has been auctioned in Sydney several times recently, fetching substantial prices. Another 1882 watercolour, The Game of Chess, is in the Art Gallery of New South Wales (purchased in 1883) 


AR 1881, p.53; NGV 1894, p.50 (II.Stawell Gallery, no.41; ill.); NGV 1905, p.50 (II.Stawell Gallery, no.56; ill.; size given as 40 x 30 inches) [£50] 

For The Toast, auctioned by Menzies, Sydney, 13 Sept.2007, lot 343, see AASD (illustrated; size given as 64.0 x 46.5 cm; noting previously auctioned by Deutscher-Menzies, Sydney, 16 March 2005, lot 207, from a private collection in Melbourne; sold for $5,250 hammer price), see See also (Art Sales Digest, giving the artist’s dates as 1858-1923); and Bénézit 13, p.1050

For the example in the AGNSW, showing a cardinal and a friar locked in intellectual combat over a chess board, see (reproduced in colour)