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Federico Faruffini, portrait of  Piccio

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FEDERICO FARUFFINI (Sesto San Giovanni, near Milan, 1833 - Perugia 1869) PORTRAIT OF GIOVANNI CARNOVALI, IL PICCIO
Black chalk, signed Faruffini; 214 x 163 mm.
The drawing is certainly not a portrait from life, but derives from a rather famous oil self-portrait by Piccio, known in several versions; see F. Rossi - B. Lorenzelli, Il Piccio e artisti bergamaschi del suo tempo, exhibition catalogue, Bergamo 1974; cat. no 26.
Nevertheless, the drawing shows the really remarkable sensitivity of the young Faruffini, as well as his great skill as a draftsman.

Obliged by his father to study law at the University of Pavia, Faruffini also enrolled at the local civic school of painting, where from 1851 he studied under Trécourt and established a relationship with il Piccio. During stays in Florence and Rome he associated with Morelli, Bernardo Celentano and Francesco Saverio Altamura. He settled in Milan in 1860, beginning the most fruitful years of his career. But his family's lack of understanding and the critics' unfavourable reaction accentuated his financial and psychological problems. As a result, he left for Paris (1865-67) to find a more receptive market. There he did in fact work hard and successfully and was open to new stimuli. But his physical and psychological condition had by then been irreparably damaged. Back in Italy, his last period is marked by anguish, reflected in an uneven production. Faruffini committed suicide in 1869.

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