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Giovanni Fattori, sosta di somari

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GIOVANNI FATTORI (Livorno 1825 - Florence 1908) SOSTA DI SOMARI (Donkeys at Rest)
Copper etching, ante 1888, Baboni-Malesci CXXI. An extremely fine impression printed, on wove, after the division of the copper plate, which originally included also the landscape Marina Livornese. Signed in pen in the bottom margin Giovanni Fattori. The signature in pen and the quality of the impression, with the rich surface tone selectively wiped, date the impression to the late eighties. In all likelihood, this impression has been printed by Fattori himself, using the small press given to him by his friend Cristiano Banti. With margins, foxed, otherwise in very good condition. To the platemark 124 x 247 mm, the entire sheet measuring 164 x 292 mm.

Giovanni Fattori, possibly the most important painter of the nineteenth century in Italy, received his first instruction in drawing from a lesser painter of his native town. In 1846 Fattori moved to Florence to attend the Academy. During the 1850s Fattori joined the innovative artists, called Macchiaioli, who met at the Caffè Michelangelo in Florence and were champions of a new technique and style to contrast the conventional academic language. During those years, he still produced works that could be attributed to the historical-romantic school but his interest in studying from life also extended to landscape painting and the military life of the day became the subject of his first experiments in painting using the macchia technique. In 1867, after the death of his first wife, Fattori frequently stayed in the Maremma region which became the ideal backdrop for his works. Fattori began etching in the early 1880s, when he was nearly sixty; quite soon he was able to appreciate the difference of expression he could achieve using this new medium. A real peintre-graveur, he continued with etching his artistic research on light and essential shapes in reality.

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