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Europeans & Americans Abroad; Philadelphia Collection 73; September 2004
 
 
painting
 
Julio Da Costa
(Portuguese, born 1855)
A Gentleman Shaving
Oil on canvas, 20 3/4 × 13 1/2 inches
Signed at lower right: “J. Da Costa”

Note: This painting retains its original frame, which imitates the design of a traditional red and white barber’s pole. It is believed that that device may derive from blood running down a pole or stick held by a patient being bled by a barber, who provided that service—in addition to cutting beards and hair—when it was considered therapeutic.


Born in Porto, Portugal, Julio Da Costa studied with his uncle Antonio Da Costa (born 1840) and Joao Correa (1822–1896). In addition to his genre paintings of rural and village life, Da Costa painted religious subjects and portraits, including one of King Don Carlos I of Portugal.


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