Collecting a Century of Italian Art, from Fattori to De Chirico

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This exquisite collection of Italian paintings dated between 1850 and 1950, which represent the main movements in Italian art during that century, was assembled by a Milan businessman with a keen eye for quality. Including works by Giorgio de Chirico and Umberto Boccioni, the mix of landscapes and pensive portraits demonstrate an identity borne of the collector’s impeccable taste. Click the image above to view the slideshow.

Collecting a Century of Italian Art, from Fattori to De Chirico

  • Giovanni Fattori, Horsemen, Oil on panel
    Estimate €60,000–80,000
    With its elongated format, and particular use of colour and technique, Horsemen is typical of the military paintings executed by Giovanni Fattori. He painted many military subjects, from large and ambitious battle scenes to smaller subjects showing everyday life. Fattori was an active patriot and in 1848-49, during the revolutionary years, he interrupted his studies in order to help the democratic anti-Austrian party. Fattori is, with Silvestro Lega and Telemaco Signorini, one of the main artists of the "Macchiaioli" group. Born in Florence, the movement had the ambition to modernise the academic tradition prevalent in Italy in the first half of the XIXth century: the artists chose subjects taken from modern life and history, and used an innovative technique: spontaneous brushstrokes, juxtaposition of colours, strong contrasts.
  • Federico Zandomeneghi, Lucie, Oil on canvas
    Estimate €150,000–200,000
    Federico Zandomeneghi lived in Paris from 1874 until his death. While there he met many Impressionist painters, in particular Edgar Degas, who was to have a major influence on his art. The female figure became predominant in Zandomeneghi's oeuvre from 1894, a year that marked a turning point in his career: the artist signed a contract with famous French art dealer, Paul Durand-Ruel, who asked him to produce more works depicting female figures that would please the taste of a newly enriched bourgeoisie.
  • Emilio Longoni, White lake and black lake, Bernina Pass, Oil on panel
    Estimate €60,000–80,000
    Like his compatriots and friends Giovanni Segantini and Gaetano Previati, whom he met during his artistic training at the Accademia di Brera in Milan, Emilio Longoni adopted, in the early 1890s, the precepts of divisionist landscape painting. He is considered one of the major figures of Italian Divisionism, carrying on the movement until the 1920s. Longoni offers here a characteristic divisionist landscape: a panoramic view, in which he concentrates his attention on the atmospheric effects as well as on the peculiar divisionist technique, fragmented and linear brushstrokes, which animate the surface of the canvas. The two lakes on the Bernina Pass, famous for their contrasting blue tones, one dark, the other pale, seem to vibrate in the nebulous light of the landscape.
  • Umberto Boccioni, Paysage, circa 1908, Oil on panel
    Estimate €80,000–120,000
    This wonderful early landscape by Umberto Boccioni foreshadows the forthcoming revolutionary work associated with the Futurist movement. At a time when Italy was rapidly industrialising and cities expanding, Boccioni offers us a novel vision of the countryside, perhaps near his hometown of Morciano di Romagna in Italy. Here he focuses on the land as a space of vitality and energy which he expresses with his superbly vigorous brushstrokes and bright colours.
  • Giorgio de Chirico, Interno metafisico con Officine, 1951-1952, Oil on canvas, Estimate €400,000–600,000
    Interno metafisico con officine is a fine example from de Chirico's second Parisian period, articulating the strange sense of displacement the artist sought to create through his enigmatic groupings of disparate objects. Infusing quotidian objects and surroundings with a sense of the mysterious, Interno metafisico con Officine is a superb example of Giorgio de Chirico’s mature metaphysical paintings. It perfectly represents the artist's wish to uncover the poetic and metaphysical possibilities that lay beneath the surface of everyday reality.
  • Armando Spadini, Maternity, Oil on canvas
    Estimate €30,000–40,000
    This magnificent Maternity was painted in 1911. The colours used are soft and bright, and Spadini's brushstroke is very supple, and the deliberately light handling of the faces shows Spadini's will to set the scene outside any precise realism. The effect is a timeless image of maternity, that in some ways alludes to the Cinquecento art, specifically to the style of Andrea del Sarto's, that influenced Spadini.
  • Felice Casorati, Étudiante, Oil on panel
    Estimate €50,000–70,000
    Felice Casorati was a prominent figure of Italian art in the 20th century. Intrigued by the decadent atmosphere of Turin after World War I, he moved to the city in 1919 and quickly became a leading figure in local intellectual circles. After his rupture with the avant-garde figuration of the beginning of the century, the geometry and formal simplicity of his works from the 20s exhibited a certain return to order. While drawing inspiration from Renaissance masters, Casorati forged a modern formal language with sometimes abstract and dreamlike elements. The artist skillfully combined the concept of classicism with modernity and realism through his interest in ordinary aspects of daily life, and with symbolism, in the transcendent desire of his protagonists.

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