Mattia Jona, Master Drawings and Prints, Japanese Prints - Piazzetta Guastalla 5, 20122 Milan, Italy, tel (+39) 02 8053315

Antonio Ligabue, self-portrait


ANTONIO LIGABUE (Zurich 1899 - Gualtieri, Reggio Emilia 1965) SELF-PORTRAIT WITH JOCKEY HAT
Drypoint, ca. 1960; Villani 44. Signed on the plate A Ligabûn, and, in pencil on the bottom margin, Antonio Ligabûn.
An apparently unique impression, before the reduction of the plate which measures here 178 x 190 mm. According to the catalogue by Elena Villani this print was known only in the posthumous edition of 1966, with the reduced plate (170 x 175 mm). Our impression has been pulled, most likely by Ligabue himself, in a very rough way, leaving uneven traces of ink on the plate and fingerprints on the top margin. Impressed on wove thick paper, now toned. Remain of adhesive tape on the verso, at bottom. To the platemark 178 x 190 mm, the entire sheet measuring 350 x 248 mm.
See Elena Villani, Antonio Ligabue, Incisioni, in Catalogo della Grafica in Italia, n. 44, Milan, 1987.
The subject of this drypoint is the same, in reverse, of an oil painting. See Sergio Negri, Ligabue, Catalogo generale dei dipinti, Milan, 2002; cat. no. 481.

Antonio Ligabue was born in Zurich. His childhood was marked by restiveness, misery and poor health. He then moved to Gualtieri, in Emilia, his father's home region where he died in 1965. During all his life Ligabue suffered for maniacal obsessions and he was hospitalized in psychiatric hospitals several times. But all his anguished alienation is redeemed by his surprising pictorial genius, capable of transforming his nightmares in enchanted colourful visions, exuding fear and excitement.


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