Julio Da Costa
(Portugese, born 1855)
Oil on canvas, 20 3/4 × 13 1/2 inches
Signed at lower right: “J. Da Costa”
Born in Porto, Portugal, Julio Da Costa studied with his uncle Antonio Da Costa
(born 1840) and João Correa (1822–1896). In addition to his genre paintings of
rural life, Da Costa painted religious subjects and portraits, including a
portrait of King Don Carlos I of Portugal.
This comical genre painting of a man shaving retains its
original frame whose design alludes to the traditional red and white barber’s
pole. The device may derive from the time when barbers acted as doctors and, in
addition to cutting hair and shaving beards, bled their patients for what were
considered therapeutic purposes; during such gruesome procedures blood often
dripped down a pole or stick held by the patient—thus the probable origin of
the barber’s pole.
Copyright©2008 The Schwarz Gallery