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Luigi Conconi, self-portrait 1879


Etching, 1879; an extremely fine impression of the only state, according to Bianchi-Ginex; skillfully printed with extensive work on the rich surface tone (acquaforte monotipata), on thick wove white paper. Signed and dedicated with the stylus LConconi / al Sigr Clemente Pugliesi. Bianchi-Ginex record another impression of this print at the Bertarelli Public Collection in Milan, with the dedication inscribed with the stylus. With full margins, foxed, generally in good condition. To the platemark 85 x 45 mm, the entire sheet measuring 458 x 302 mm. See M. Bianchi, G. Ginex, Luigi Conconi incisore, Milan, 1994; cat. no. 4. PROVENANCE: the painter Clemente Pugliesi Levi (1855-1936), to whom the print has been dedicated; the painter Carlo Vitale (1902-1996); private collection, Milan.

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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