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Telemaco Signorini, View of Campo Santa Margherita in Venice


Black chalk, 258 x 171 mm. Titled signed and dated in black chalk Campo Sta Margherita / Venezia / TSignorini 1856.
In his Lettera informativa, written in 1892 to the Presidente della R. Accademia di Belle Arti in Firenze, Signorini says: Dopo gli elementi dell'arte fatti, non all'Accademia, ma sotto la direzione di mio padre, mi portai a Venezia coll'artista Vito d'Ancona e Federigo Maldarelli di Napoli. Là vi rimasi tutto l'anno 1856, studiai nei musei e nei canali, strinsi amicizia con Enrico Gamba e Federigo Leighton e vari altri stranieri. The letter was originally published by Enrico Somarè in 1926, but it is now available also on line. We know several drawings by Signorini executed during his stay in Venice, see, for example, the group published in MOSTRA DI DISEGNI DI TELEMACO SIGNORINI, exhibition catalogue, Rome, Galleria Nazionale d'arte moderna, April-May 1969; cat. nos. from 42-59

Signorini was a writer, theoretician and the spokesman for the Macchiaioli. He was also the first of the group, together with Borrani, to paint outdoors. Signorini was a passionate free spirit, who spent most of his life wandering in Italy and the capitals of Europe, always eventually returning to Florence. He frequently traveled to Paris and London, to sell and exhibit his works, at the Royal Academy and the Grosvenor Gallery in London, and with the dealers Goupil and Reitlinger in Paris. He also visited Boldini and De Nittis in Paris and became interested in the work of Manet and Degas. Signorini's style was unique among the Macchiaioli. His interest in nature and landscape was more objective and analytical. For a time his palette was influenced by the Impressionists, but in his later period he returned to purer color. Signorini was a splendid draftsman and printmaker.

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