Etching, 1935. First state of four. Signed and dated in the plate L Bartolini / 1935. Partly pasted on a light cardboard, signed ad inscribed in pencil by the artist at bottom right Luigi Bartolini / unico esemplare buono su otto ined. Light foxing. To the plate mark 252 x 333 mm.
Certainly this etching is the most famous and celebrated of the large corpus of works by Bartolini as a printmaker. The most accurate cataloging of it is due to Dario Palma, see his site luigibartolini.com and, specifically, the page L'enigma del Martin Pescatore.
I must therefore warmly thank Dario who identifies our impression as a rare variant between the first and the second state, preceding the interventions that characterize the second state, but showing the appearance of extensive oxidation on the plate at the bottom between the center and the left side. Another example of this variant is kept at the Fondazione Longhi in Florence (N. Cat. 09 00196639).
Painter, printmaker, writer, poet and polemicist, Bartolini spent his youth in Rome, Siena and Florence and completed his studies in 1910 at the Istituto di Belle Arti in Siena. As a printmaker he made his first etchings around 1909 in Florence, where he studied the prints of Jacques Callot, Giovanni Fattori and Rembrandt. During the World War I, Bartolini fought as an officer at the Front. He resumed his artistic activity in 1919, establishing himself mainly as a printmaker. In 1932, along with Giorgio Morandi, he won a prize at the Mostra dell’Incisione Italiana in Florence and in 1935 obtained first prize for printmaking at the second Quadriennale at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome, where he exhibited 50 etchings. He exhibited again his prints at the Biennale in Venice, in 1942, at the Rassegna Internazionale in Lugano, in 1952, and at the Calcografia Nazionale in Rome, in 1962.
Since a few years a website exists entirely devoted to Luigi Bartolini as etcher luigibartolini.com Edited by Dario Palma in collaboration with Luciana Bartolini, the site is constantly updated.