The back bears a printed label of the “Società per le Belle Arti ed Esposizione Permanente” in Milan relating to the exhibition entitled Galileo Chini/mostra retrospettiva, with references to the work; provenance stamp from the Galleria Arco Farnese in Rome
Galileo Chini /mostra retrospettiva, Milan, Società per le Belle Arti ed Esposizione Permanente, January – February 1977
Catalogue of the Turandot, Teatro dell’Opera, Rome 1996, p. 76
This portrait of a young model depicted while executing a dance movement, drawn in all likelihood either during or immediately after the artist's time in Bangkok, plunges us directly into the exotic Orient.
It has a tangible connection – in the subject's features, in her facial gestures and even in her headgear – with a portrait of the Actress Mesù also painted by Galileo Chini and shown on several occasions. Thus it is perfectly plausible to suggest that the artist used the same model both for that painting and for this drawing. The drawing clearly reflects Chini's experience in Siam, a trip that was to mark a crucial moment in his artistic development.
Despite his consolidated reputation in Europe, Chini accepted an invitation from the King of Siam in 1911 to work on the Throne Room in the Royal Palace in Bangkok. His stay, which lasted for over two years, was to have a major impact on his career. On his return to Italy he produced the decorative panels for the 1914 Venice Biennale, where he combines an oriental richness of decoration with a preciousness redolent of Art Nouveau.
Thus this dancing girl is a marvellous synthesis of the expressive freedom typical of Galileo Chini, who interprets here the oriental happiness that he acquired in Siam, combining it with the influence of the Viennese Sezession.