Tuesday, January 21, 2014



Room 04 - Destinations for the journey to Italy in the nineteenth century

Room dedicated to Italian countryside paintings. They continued to be very popular in Europe in the nineteenth century even after the decline of Grand Tour of Italy by the scions of the European aristocracy, especially British
“The Cemetery in Pisa” 1864 by Giuseppe Abbati (1836/68)
“The Great Cloister in S. Maria in Aracoeli” 1824 by the Danish Christoffer Wilhem Eckersberg (1873/53)
“Portrait of Prince Barjatinskij” 1837 by Émile Jean Horace Vernet (1789/1863) one of the greatest French painters of the nineteenth century
“The party of moccolettis (Carnival in Rome)” 1852, “Genoa” 1853 and “View of Rome from Monte Mario” 1857 by Ippolito Caffi (1809/66)
Moccolettis are short candles that used to add light and festive atmosphere to celebrations at night. The painting was successful so Caffi made several copies with a few changes here and there
“He started his activity under the influence of the Venetian painters, enriching the stringent scenes with flamboyant lighting effects, often spectacular, gaining a very concise style, made of strokes short and concise. His more mature achievements are represented by a phantasmagoria of colors and atmosphere, often to artificial light and picturesque lively reportages from popular festivals in which human figures are drawn with short layers of color and immersed in a flowing atmosphere” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
“Villa Doria in Albano” 1839 and “The Uphill of Ariccia” 1839 by G.B. Bassi (1784/1852)
“Aniene River near Tivoli” 1798 and “Landscape” about 1798 by Marianna Dionigi (1757/1826). Roman painter and writer
“Inside the Basilica of St. Paul after the Fire” 1823, “The Colosseum” 1835 e “The Roman Forum” 1835 by the French Jean Faure aka Giovanni Faure who came to Rome at age 17 and remained there, becoming one of the most celebrated painters by travelers of the Grand Tour of Europe for its views of Rome
“St. Mark's Square” 1869 by Michele Cammarano (1835/1920)
“In the months he spent in Venice Cammarano painted some landscapes and views of the lagoon, with firm structures of lighting effects, and one of his masterpieces: Piazza S. Marco, an episode of virtuosity for its brilliant display of night effects, but also for being an authentic slice of life of bourgeois society of the time” (Osvaldo Ferrari - Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani Treccani)
Statue “At the source” 1896 by Domenico Trentacoste (1856/1933) from Palermo
“From the marine hospice” 1891 by Francesco Lojacono (1838-1915)
“Palazzo Donn'Anna in Posillipo” 1893 by Gaetano Esposito (1858/1911)
“Shipyards in San Baseggio” 1886 and “Digging in the Canal” about 1884 by Pietro Fragiacomo (1856/1922)
Painter from Trieste active in Venice who painted in a rich lyrical way with atmospheric layers and veiled colors, worthy descendant of the great landscape painters of the Venetian past
“Marina” 1887 by Filippo Carcano (1840/1914)
“Castel dell'Ovo in Naples” 1820/24 by Anton Sminck Pitloo (1791/1837)
He was a Dutch painter who lived mainly in Rome and Naples. He was a leading exponent of the so called School of Posillipo and is considered a precursor of Impressionism
“Market on the port of Castellammare” 1859 and “Marina of Ischia” about 1825 by Giacinto Gigante (1806/1876)
“Leader of the so-called School of Posillipo, Gigante represented carefully the landscape with his description of bright atmospheres enhanced by correct color intonations. The scenic setting of many of his works were a consequence of an optical habit derived from his activity as surveyor. While the preference for majestic or terrible aspects of nature is a sign of the influence exerted on him by the northern landscape paintings style absorbed through Pitloo” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
Bronze “Boy carrying water” 1880/81 by Vincenzo Gemito (1852/1929)
“Zinaida Volkonskaja” 1850 by Pietro Tenerani (1789/1869)
The Russian princess Volkonskaya was a leading figure of Russian cultural and social life of the nineteenth century. She lived for over thirty years in Rome where she died
“Portrait of his wife” 1859 by the American Hiram Powers (1805/73)
Born in Vermont, he spent the last thirty-seven years of his life in Florence where he is buried. His sculptures are housed in dozens of museums in the U.S.

Room 05 - Classicism and Romanticism

“The debate that opposed the Romantic to the Classical started in Italy in the literary field, but also had effects on the visual arts. Even if the border is not always clear, we can say, simplifying, that classicism is objective, rational, universal, timeless, while romanticism is subjective, sentimental, national and historical; in the former one tends to ideal beauty in the latter to moral beauty” (GNAM Website - www.gnam.beniculturali.it)
Italian patriot, younger brother of Domenico. He fought for the Roman Republic with Garibaldi in 1849 in Porta S. Pancrazio where he was wounded
“The Tempest” 1787/90 by the English George Romney (1734/1802)
“Intense testimony of the classical variation of the romanticism from north of the Alps, which favors an emphasis of the emotional and psychological values of the story, choosing subjects according to their responsiveness to a modern feel, by now alien to rhetoric and to David's staged triumphalist machines” (Giovanna Campitelli)
“Head of the Nazarene-inspired Italian Purism. Very fine artist, theorist and careful teacher, he painted works in a rare fifteenth-century noble style” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
“Sicilian Vespers (Ruggier Mastrangelo's Wife)” 1846 by Francesco Hayez (1791/1882)
“He quickly established himself as the leader of Italian Romanticism, marked by intense activity in almost all works of historical subjects, often drawn from contemporary novels and poems” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
“Christ aged twelve in the temple” 1821 oil on canvas by Joseph Anton Koch (1768/1839).
“Portrait of Costanza Monti Perticari” (1819/21) by Filippo Agricola (1795/1857)
“Portrait of Vincenzo Monti” about 1808 by Andrea Appiani (1754/1817)
“Well educated artist who frequented circles of intellectuals, he experimented in his youth with the fresco technique, perfected by the study of Leonardo and Raphael. Approaching the neoclassical trends, he conceived his images as sculptural friezes. In his most successful works the principles of Neo-classical “good taste” blend with soft reminiscences of the naturalistic tradition of Lombardy” (Michele Dantini)
“Death of Caesar” 1805 by Vincenzo Camuccini (1771/1844)
“Formerly disciple of Domenico Corvi, he soon joined a Neo-classicism that was obviously inspired by David. The heroic tones, enhanced by strong chiaroscuro derived from Michelangelo emphasize the severe civil and moral admonition, in the complete identification between austerities of style and seriousness of the ethical message” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
Marble statue “Pellegrino Rossi” 1869 by Pietro Tenerani (1789/1869)
Bust of “Guelph Count Este Trotti Mosti” 1830/40 by Lorenzo Bartolini
“The attention to the softness of the modeling, the naturalness of form is formally emphasized by the educated reference to the Renaissance style, which is the vehicle through which the moral contents are transmitted” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)

Room 06 - Far away in Time and Space

The exotic and historical subjects, especially Eastern, were very popular in Italy in the second half of the nineteenth century. This room presents a well-chosen selection
“Feast of Mohammed in Tangiers” 1879, “Reception at the Italian Embassy in Morocco” about 1879 and “Prayer in the Desert” 1876 by the Florentine Stefano Ussi (1822/1901)
“In 1854 he went from his Florence to Rome where, in contact with Celentano, Faruffini and Morelli, he developed a model of historical painting by fast drafting, almost sketchy, and with a strong chiaroscuro” (Anna Villari)
“In the desert” 1889 by Cesare Biseo (1843/1909)
“The Virgin of the Nile” 1865 masterpiece by the sadly underrated Federico Faruffini (1833/69)
“Faruffini was counted, as written by Carlo Carrà, with Cherubino Cornienti and Daniele Ranzoni among the most misunderstood artists throughout the nineteenth century in Lombardy, even relegated to the margins of society, no awards and honors, while the painting obtained widespread appreciation not so much for the subject (“a magnificent example of his funeral imagination” also wrote Carra) as for its color and lighting effects: for that water green and stagnant (...) that bottom corner decorated with palm trees, that effect of sunlight on the granite of the pedestal” (Anna Villari)
Three paintings of the great Neapolitan painter Domenico Morelli (1823/1901)
Now, unfortunately, he is almost unknown to the general public, but in the second half of the nineteenth century he was a celebrity and the leader of a school of painting:
“The Byronic repertoire provides the artist, here as in many other Morelli's paintings inspired to the poet, with romantic subjects susceptible of intense theatricality and narrative realism” (Elena di Majo)
“Virtuosic setting of internal court not separated from the subtle psychology of the protagonists, responding to the poetics of Morelli's historical reconstructions 'imagined and real at the same time'“ (Elena di Majo)
“Together with the Tasso and Eleanor, it is the most significant of the Morelli's paintings in the Gallery and also one of the most complex of the whole production of the painter. (...) It was sent to the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1878 and it aroused mixed reactions for the difficult mixture between symbolism and realism, mystical tension and eroticism” (Elena di Majo)
“His debut works reveal already a distinct difference from historical Romanticism. From the chorus of the action, he switches to the absolute focus of the protagonists of the scenes. From the network of historical references and educated allusions, he leans toward direct rendering of events represented with strong intent of verisimilitude. The cultured analogy of true romantic style was now transformed into likelihood to the real” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
It is a composition that recalls a production of an opera house where the exotic and the fantastic historical narrative are skilfully and sapidly mixed
“The Council of Ten” 1861 and “Torquato Tasso sick in Bisaccia” 1863 by Bernardo Celentano (1835/63)
“Of his Council of Ten, enriched by a frame ordered by Celentano himself to the architect Antonio Cipolla, (...) the painter pointed out “the general feeling of the scene, which could also allude to the present day, and give me many opportunities to study beautiful characters, well-contrasted and felt” (Elena di Majo)
Terracotta statue “Brutus” 1871 and “Alexander the Great” 1920/25 by the Neapolitan Vincenzo Gemito (1852/1929) 
Three statues “Cleopatra” about 1874, “Goethe's Margarete” about 1860 and “Nello Della Pietra e Pia de' Tolomei” 1868 by Alfonso Balzico (1825/1901) 
“The monumental marble of Cleopatra shows in the details of the hairdo and of the decorative jewelry, as well as in the complex architecture of the basement, a careful study of the sculptor on the grounds of the Egyptian style, whose fortune, persisting since the early decades of the century, had its apotheosis in the opera Aida by Giuseppe Verdi performed in Cairo in 1871” (Elena di Majo)

Room 07 - The survival of the myth from Neoclassicism to Symbolism

“During the nineteenth century the Greek-Roman mythology returns with Neoclassicism, declines with Romanticism and Realism, but eventually reappears with Symbolism. It is Antonio Canova that in the Neoclassical age gives back to the Olympian Gods formal and moral meaning, considering them as special manifestations of external beauty as well as allegories of the inner world. After the mid-nineteenth century mythology reappears in many artists who look to Italy: from Böcklin to Puvis de Chavannes, Moreau to Burne-Jones. In Italy the classical myth was born again among the dreamy atmospheres of the poetry of Gabriele D'Annunzio and of the paintings by Giulio Aristide Sartorio” (GNAM Website - www.gnam.beniculturali.it)
“Hercules and Lichas” by Antonio Canova (1757/1822)
“Even when Canova covers issues related to agitate and dramatic action, in terms of strength and physical violence - as in the statues of the two boxers Creugas and Damosseno or in the group of Hercules and Lichas - the soul of his figures remain undisturbed inside. The actions and passions seem to be shown rather than felt, as in a pantomime: gestures are emphasized and summarized, they are a controlled language of the intellect” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
Twelve statues of the main gods of Olympus sculpted by Canova's pupils:
“Neptune” about 1844 by Rinaldo Rinaldi (1793/1873)
“Vesta” and “Volcano” 1844 by Pietro Tenerani (1789/1869)
“Juno” about 1840 by Camillo Pistrucci (1811/54)
“Mars” 1845 by Cesare Benaglia (d. 1884)
“Mercury” and “Venus” 1844 by Luigi Bienaimé (1795/1878)
“Diana” 1845 by Ercole Dante
“Apollo” and “Jupiter” 1838 by Pietro Galli (1804/77)
“Ceres” and “Minerva” 1839 by the Spanish Antonio Solá (1787/1861)
As a counterpart of Hercules and Lichas by Canova there is the bronze statue “Hercules Archer” 1909 by Emile Antoine Bourdelle (1861/1929) paradigmatic work of the great student of Rodin representing with stylized archaism the fifth labor of Hercules, the killing of birds of the Lake Stymphalus
“The Gorgon and the Heroes” 1890/99 and “Diana of Ephesus and the Slaves” 1890/99 by Giulio Aristide Sartorio (1860/1932)
He loved great mural paintings and his work was the most monumental frieze in the Hall of Parliament of the Montecitorio Palace
“The diptych is a sort of manifesto of the idealistic and aesthetic trends of the end of the century revolving around D'Annunzio and the magazines of Adolfo De Bosis. The artist had wanted to mythically express two aspects of the deep vanity of human existence. On the one hand Gorgon, which has the bewitching form of Beauty and it is Life and Death at the same time, because it raises and lowers the heroes. On the other hand Diana of Ephesus, with a hundred breasts as nurse of the men and their chimeras. Men, says the poet, are made of the same substance of their dreams and they are represented here as dormant, holding in their hands the symbols of their ambitions” (Stefania Frezzotti)
“It started as a single framework (...) and it became a diptych when, unexpectedly, it was revived by the intervention of a woman of unexpected beauty. She was an adventuress, a friend of a French gentleman. From our first meetings we had no secrets, and, exalted by her superb female nudity, I painted the 'Gorgon'“ (Giulio Aristide Sartorio)
“The Shepherds of Arcadia” 1830 by the Neapolitan Filippo Marsigli (1790/1867)
Two shepherd of Miletus during a pilgrimage to the temple of Apollo found the tomb of Damoetas, a shepherd who was a benefactor. A girl who had also been helped by Damoetas passed by and saw them
The painting had belonged to Ferdinand of Bourbon, King of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
“Centaurs” 1895 by Enrico Coleman (1846/1911)
“A late reflection of the Roman poetry, expressed mainly by Böcklin and then championed by Nino Costa, which, since the mid-nineteenth century privileged representations in elegiac and anti-modern key of the country and the Tyrrhenian coast to express nostalgia and the charm of a classical world to be recovered beyond the very origins of Rome, in the regions of myth” (Matteo Lafranconi)
“Resurrection” about 1911 by Giulio Bargellini (1896/1936)
“Also known under the title of Light, the triptych was conceived as an allegorical representation of Giordano Bruno - shown here between Pegasus and Bellerophon on the left and the Pierides on the right - highly regarded figure in those years in the Masonic circles of the capital, to which the artist was not stranger” (Matteo Lafranconi)
“Orestes and the Furies” 1905 by Franz von Stuck (1863/1928)
“Both the mythological theme of Orestes pursued by the three Furies after he killed his mother Clytemnestra and its formal naturalistic-academic rendition in a dark and tactile range of colors sign up the artist from Munich in the wake of profound Böcklinian influences” (Elena di Majo)
Statue of “Sappho” 1861 by the Sienese Giovanni Duprè inspired by Michelangelo's “Giorno” in the Medici Chapel in Florence
“During a trip to London he had received a strong impression of the Parthenon Marbles from the British Museum. The Greek charm is apparent not only in the choice of subject, but also in its grand and lyrical representation, in line with the educated international Greek Revival” (Anna Villari)
“Unconscious Psyche” 1869 (plaster 1823) by Pietro Tenerani (1789/1869)
“The chisel that has made this statue is the instrument that one doesn't think about at all as one admires it. If it would be possible to create statues caressing marble, rather than cutting and blasting shrapnel harshly, I would say that this statue was made wearing out the marble that surrounded it by dint of caresses and kisses” (Leopoldo Cicognara)

Room 08 - The search for reality

Age of Realism expressed in a particular manner in Tuscany between 1855 and 1870 with the so-called Macchiaioli, the Italian equivalent of the French Impressionists
Paintings “The game stopped” 1867/68 and “Interior with figure” 1868 and statue “The Mother” 1884/86 by Adriano Cecioni (1836/86)
“His artistic conception was based on the formula of art for art: he thought that the beauty of a work was not based on the subject or the beauty of the model, but consisted in the goodness of execution (...) because if the original is beautiful and the portrait, even though similar, is poorly executed, the work is a bad one. So the work is beautiful only when it is well executed, whatever the subject it represents. Such a theory gave some aesthetic basis to the new realist and verist subjects” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
“Ill with tuberculosis (she died in 1867), Settimia Vannucci was lovingly assisted by her husband and he often portrayed her in various attitudes. (...) From this need, sentimental and artistical as well, came this rare portrait of psychological subtlety, a description significant and painful, an emblematic work that, as written by Ettore Spalletti, 'testifies to the achievement of full autonomy over both legacy romantic and the purist tradition'“ (Anna Villari)
“The pumping machine” 1863 and “The Visit” 1868 by Silvestro Lega (1826/95)
“His realism of vision took place in a series of works, executed between the mid-sixties and early seventies, characterized by an overriding interest in stories with a highly intimate intonation” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
“The visit is one of the undisputed masterpieces of the Macchiaioli movement, expressive and formal synthesis of the happier and fuller period of Lega's artistic production. (...) It has elements of form and content imbued with those values that were emerging from the dissertations of the group of artists belonging to the Caffè Michelangelo, values centered on a renewed analysis of the true according to the principles of modern positivist thought. In agreement with these principles, Lega chose a subject taken from the daily life of the urban petty bourgeoisie (...) offering an interpretation of high concentration and pictorial narrative power. (...) He achieved an analytical and paused measure also in the representation of sentiment, rising here to a dimension solemn and almost sacred” (Matteo Lafranconi)
“Portrait of Nerina Badioli” 1865/66 by Antonio Puccinelli (1822/97)
 “Attentive to the pictorial traditions of the past (from Veneto and Emilia painters to Correggio, Rembrandt, and up to the French eighteen century), he took inspiration from them to continuously deepen the central theme of his paintings, the fusion of color and atmosphere. What makes this way of painting unique is the heightened luminous sensitivity, which often comes close to the dissolution of form with a focus on atmospheric vision, a quality that is specifically romantic, but here in a continuous, original, perspectival over-excitement” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
“Portrait of a Young Man” 1867, “Luisa Sanfelice in prison” 1875 by Gioacchino Toma (1836/91)
“It is one of the best-known Italian works of the whole nineteenth century and it is often cited in the critical literature. It is mostly linked to the reputation of Toma as a “painter of interiors” and “poet of gray” (Elena di Majo)
“Portrait of a Lady” about 1860, “Oxen on the Beach” 1864 by Giuseppe Abbati (1836/68)
In contemplating “Oxen on the Beach” one is surprised with the monumentality that emanates from such a small oil painting on cardboard
“Tuscan Country Girl” 1875 by Cristiano Banti (1824/1904)
“The Lover of the Arts” 1866 by Giovanni Boldini (1842/1931) 
“The Mugnone” about 1870, “Pannocchio’s Houses in Castiglioncello” about 1862 and “The Bridge alle Grazie in Florence” about 1881 by Odoardo Borrani (1833/1905)
“The Mugnone is a successful joint of color patches with the play of light on different greens and gloom, the sky a pale blue andviolet shadows” (Anna Villari)
“In this small oil painting with the Bridge alle Grazie in Florence, with the usual horizontal cut, Borrani in his mature period engages with a gray wintry atmosphere in which the light melancholy of the scene with the thin solitary figure in the rain, is emphasized by his unusually pale palette, treated with great refinement in the delicate transitions of colors” (Anna Villari) 
“Houses in Lerici” 1863/65 and “Castiglion Fiorentino” 1862 by Vincenzo Cabianca (1827/1902)
“One can detect especially in the choice of colors and in the serene and rigorous brightness of the blue the proximity of ways and feel with Borrani and Sernesi, around the same time concentrated on the blinding light and on the broad essential spaces, almost abstract, of the Castiglioncello Farm” (Anna Villari)
“His paintings in the first period are dominated by bright and tonal research conducted particularly to the example of Corot's landscape painting. Ripa Grande is carefully studied in values of tone and light. A little later Women who embark wood in the port of Anzio is an ambitious painting for the monumental inclusion of solemn monumental figures, although represented in humble acts, in a very wide view of a landscape devoid of any picturesque connotation but described with an exact analysis of lights and color” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
“Study of costumes” 1860/61, “Grazing” 1861 and “Sun roofs” about 1860 by Raffaello Sernesi
“It shows the mainly optical artist's interest, which focuses on the performance of chromatic and tonal relationships of a fragment of reality, represented with a radical simplification of the essential structures: it doesn't need drawing or chiaroscuro based on the observation that in nature edges and contours don't exist” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
“The arrival of the Bulletin of Villafranca's Peace” 1860/62 1860/62 by Domenico Induno (1815/78)
He was among the first artists to use the big novelty of photography as a technical means that would provide models for paintings
“Fishmongers in Lerici” 1874 and “Suburb of Adriana Gate in Ravenna” 1875 by Telemaco Signorini (1835/1901)
“In the second half of the 80s the painter, returned from international experiences, took part of a general climate of change in the language of painting in the Impressionists' way, which he joined with a critical mind precisely because of the experience he had had around 1860 thanks to the 'Macchiaioli' movement. The positive analysis of that period allowed him the necessary perspective to understand the meaning of the free and bright brushwork of the French and to draw his own conclusions in his moody way, always sensitive to atmospheric variation, rarely joyful as the French masters were” (Rossella Campana)

Room 09 - The social exclusion

Inspired by the literary realism of Giovanni Verga, Luigi Capuana and Matilde Serao many southern artists after the unification of Italy research into social exclusion issues with their art. At the end of 1800s the artists belonging to the Milanese movement Scapigliatura investigate further the same issues with extraordinary results
“The vow” 1883 by Francesco Paolo Michetti (1851/1929)
It dominates the room with its brutal picture of poverty, steeped in religious superstition
“Despite studies from life and the use of photography for documentary use, as sketches for his work, the painting of Michetti from Pescara, happily turns to issues of regional folklore, marks the dissolution of realism with symbolism crossed by literary complacency: the spectacular and sumptuous staging of the Vow explains the admiration of D'Annunzio for his fellow artist, able to 'generate the steam in the soul of the dream'“ (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
“Carminella” 1870, “The seller of matches” about 1878 and “The Study” about 1875 by Antonio Mancini (1852/1930)
“Refugium Peccatorum” 1882 by the Venetian Luigi Nono (1850/18)
Chilling composition that leaves room for interpretations, still managing to express the idea of a tragic ending for a period of history that was full of promises for a better future
“The heir” 1880 dramatic masterpiece by Teofilo Patini (1840/1906)
“The line of verism had led to more accurate results compared with the history and the stories of contemporary Italian society, although the tendency toward sentimentalism continued to moderate the attitudes of open social rebellion” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
“The Zurfegna water in St. Lucia” 1884 by Vincenzo Caprile (1856/1936)
“The painting depicts the sale of water with sulfur by a street urchin in the popular district of St. Lucia. (...) The monumentality of the representation and the careful study from life of the young male body almost nude and the still life of the large jars of clay turn the folklore of the genre into a kind of almost tangible image of the Mediterranean myth” (Elena di Majo)
“The Woodwoman” 1876 by Egisto Ferroni (1835/1912)
“Although he was sensitive to the needs expressed by the Macchiaioli movement in Florence, Ferroni did not join the group, of which he did not share the technical innovations, but he abandoned the academic paintings of historical subjects and devoted himself to the rural genre portraying characters and episodes of the Tuscan countryside using an incisive design with a strong plastic emphasis” (Alexandra Andresen - Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani Treccani)
“Ploughing” 1870 by Carlo Pittara (1836/90) from Turin
Statues in the center of the room:
El Locch in Milanese dialect means “underworld figure” and this indeed appears to be the subject of this bold work very expressive, for which it seems the sculptor Rescaldani had posed as a model
Medardo Rosso made three other versions of which only one of them with a pipe, the first idea that accentuated the caricature of the subject, now in Minneapolis
“The only great modern sculptor who has tried to open a wider field to sculpture, to render plastically the influence of the environment and the atmospheric ties that bind it to the subject” (Umberto Boccioni)
“He was certainly influenced by Rodin. It is also demonstrated by its commitment with the impressionistic light that plays on the forms. But his work is more fluid, more ghostly and ethereal than that of Rodin. Moreover, in contrast with Rodin and most modelers, he preferred a single point of view and a central focus” (Rudolf Wittkower)
“What's most interesting to me in art is to make forget about matter” (Medardo Rosso)
Bronze statue “Proximus tuus” 1880 by Achille D'Orsi (1845/1929)
Bronze statue “The mother of the killed” 1907 by Francesco Ciusa (1883/1949) from Sardinia
“It was inspired by a dramatic episode of Sardinian bandits seen by the artist in his childhood. The woman is depicted in a restrained attitude typical of the Nuoro ritual of the wake. (...) Ciusa reworks a theme of veristic impression, abandoning the social or humanitarian aspects of denunciation which had characterized southern Italian sculpture (...) and making rather symbolic that ancestral Sardinia environment and that archetype described in the same years in the novels of Grazia Deledda” (Stefania Frezzotti)

Room 10 - Reality and emotion

“The art of the nineteenth century is pervaded by a vein of sentimentalism that survives even in these years of Realism. Attention to this kind of mood connects the works of artists who gravitate around the Scapigliatura Milanese movement, those seeking the atmosphere in the landscape rather than optical fidelity and those who are already sensitive to spiritualist ideas destined to lead to Symbolism. Compared to romantic sentimentality, the intensity of emotions has changed: emotionalism and melancholy on the one hand and contemplative dimension on the other take over the strength of idealism and the violence of passion. The artist who best represents the transition from Naturalism to Symbolism is Segantini, the future star of Divisionism (Pointillism)” (GNAM Website - www.gnam.beniculturali.it)
“An October Morning” about 1862 e “At the Fountain” 1867/68 by Antonio Fontanesi (1818/82)
“In Switzerland he saw the views of Alexandre Calame, rich of livid lights and terse atmospheres. From this moment on his landscapes would be based on a careful analysis of the values of light, supported over the years from the deeper understanding of the great European landscape painters (Corot, Constable, Turner) whom he had known during frequent trips abroad. The fundamental tone of his mature paintings is an overwhelming feeling of nature, also seen in its more normal and less picturesque aspects, expressed in views based on harmonious lighting effects” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
“Forest of Fontainebleau” 1874 by Giuseppe Palizzi (1812/88), brother of the more famous Filippo Palizzi
“Winter Sadness” 1884 by Marco Calderini (1850/1941)
“It is from The Lonely Statues that Calderini's language can be defined as calmly descriptive and clear, natural and rational, evoking a melancholy feeling of realistic character, far from the lyrical and emotional bursts of his revered master Antonio Fontanesi” (Matteo Lafranconi)
“Imminent Moon” 1882 by Lorenzo Delleani (1840/1908)
“The Shaft” 1886 by Giovanni Segantini (1858/99) one of the leading exponents of Italian Divisionism (Pointillism)
“The first painting of monumental scale created by the artist reveals a poetic fullness achieved in the representation of landscape understood as a glorification of nature and the epic, grand and melancholic at the same time, of the country life. The novelty of the cutting perspective, the predominant horizontal vision suggesting a sense of infinity, the study of the backlight, have effects that contribute to advance the values of naturalism transfigured into a symbolic key that will prevail from then on in his production in the Engadina Valley in Switzerland” (Matteo Lafranconi)
“Messidoro” (Golden Harvest) 1883 by Guglielmo Ciardi (1842/1917)
“Messidoro is the best known painting by Guglielmo Ciardi, a work of the painter's maturity. (...) A sentimental and emotional landscape: he found here accomplishment of his research for the 'real' in the subject and in the pictorial technique” (Maura Picciau)
“Salerno's Countryside” 1885 by Achille Vertunni (1826/97)
“The two cousins” 1870 and “Sick girl” about 1877 by Tranquillo Cremona (1837/78)
“The way of painting of Piccio with its evocative values obtained with chromatic material undone and allusive was an earlier artistic precedent. Effects of transparencies, contours of indefiniteness, taste - often tedious - for the gradient and its softness, for the potentially subtle and impalpable are the salient characteristics of the painting of Cremona, who, in his day, was very successful” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
“After the Bath” 1884 by Giacomo Favretto (1849/87)
“The female nude is a topic rare in Venetian painting of the nineteenth century and very rare in the Favretto's works. After the bath (...) is thus a significant work, whose success with critics and audiences has never failed. (...) The scene is an everyday one, colloquial. Favretto chooses soft intonation, lit by the bright timbres: the red scarf of the woman, the jacket with the color of lapis lazuli, the white cloths. (...) A learned work that shows a reached balance between study of the true and courtly ancestry of the image, derived from Titian” (Maura Picciau)
Bronze sculpture “It rains (or the ducks)” 1887 by Leonardo Bistolfi (1859/1933) 

Statue “The Widow” 1888/89 by Ernesto Bazzaro (1859/1937)

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