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Luigi Conconi, self-portrait as a shadow, an early state

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LUIGI CONCONI (Milan 1852 - 1917) VITA CONTEMPLATIVA o AUTORITRATTO (A self-portrait as a shadow)
Etching, before 1888; an extremely rare impression of an earlier state (unknown to Bianchi and Ginex) before the cracks in the wall, the two lizards on it and several other details. Richly printed with black ink, working on the surface tone with monotypic effects, on chine appliqué. Signed LConconi in the film of ink left in the plate in wiping. Titled and signed in pencil inside the composition (top left) Vita contemplativa / Capricci fatti in Acquaforte di / LConconi. With large margins, toned, other minor defects. To the platemark 358 x 277 mm. See M. Bianchi, G. Ginex, Luigi Conconi incisore, Milan, 1994; cat. no. 26.

Luigi Conconi was an architect, painter and illustrator. Born in a Milanese middle-class family, he was the nephew of the painter Mauro Conconi. Luigi studied architecture at the Accademia di Brera and at the Politecnico in Milan, and he used his architectural training occasionally throughout his career. Since his years at the Politecnico, he became acquainted with the literary and artistic circles of the Scapigliatura and Tranquillo Cremona and Daniele Ranzoni influenced his early paintings. In the 1880s Conconi moved from the Realism of Scapigliatura toward the Symbolism, developing an interest in visionary themes. He received the international recognition of prizes in Paris in 1900 and in Munich in 1913. Conconi was also a skilful and sensitive printmaker, who revived the art of the etching in Lombardy, being the leading exponent of the acquaforte monotipata, an etching printed with a large amount of ink left on the plate, creating evocative effects. Conconi printed personally almost all his own plates.

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