The Customs

Image credit: The National Gallery, London

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On his first visit to Paris in 1875 Mancini signed a contract to supply pictures to a leading dealer, Goupil & Cie. On a second visit to the French capital in 1877, cut short by a mental breakdown – he never returned – Mancini delivered five paintings to Goupil, including this work. It shows an elegant if wistful young woman, surrounded by trunks and the paraphernalia of travel, who is preparing to leave Paris. Customs agents may soon arrive to inspect her belongings. It represented a change in direction for the artist, a richly detailed scene from contemporary Paris life popular with sophisticated French and foreign collectors, but unlike the more evocative depictions of Italian waifs and urchins on which Mancini was building his reputation.

The National Gallery, London



The Customs




Oil on canvas


H 73.7 x W 59.1 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Sir Hugh Lane Bequest, 1917

Work type



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