oil on canvas, 37×31 cm

Signed and dated lower right P. Cónti 1920

The deformations to which the avant-garde had subjected the human figure, in the period of the “return to order,” take on in Conti the character of psychological notations, which the artist first finds within himself, before bringing them outward. We have an example of this in Head of a Squinting Peasant Woman , which aspires to regain composure of vision, barely divided in the shape of her eyes.

On the other hand, the bending of the head and the drooping of the eyes express a trait of surly melancholy, typical of Conti’s shy nature, particularly receptive to the resigned moods of this historical moment, in which he can also reflect on the ancient artistic concept that attributes to melancholy the power to elaborate creation.