Framed Chromolithograph by WH (Wallace Hester) picturing the Italian composer Pietro Mascagni.
In 1890 Mascagni delighted the Italian nation with his exquisite opera 'Cavalleria Rusticana'. Written in response to a competition for young composers in 1888, Mascagni had not actually intended to finally submit his work as he doubted it's quality. The composer's wife found the draft hidden in a draw and, seeing it's worth, illicitly submitted it on his behalf on the final day of the competition.
The opera was an instant and unqualified success, earning Mascagni 40 curtain calls on the first night as well as first prize in the contest and receiving a standing ovation such as the Teatro Constanzo in Rome had not seen 'in many years'.
The 'intermezzo' from Cavaleria Rusticana was particularly noted for its beauty and charm and has become famous in it's own right, appearing in the soundtrack of the Martin Scorsese film 'Raging Bull'.