Zanetti Zilla Vettore, Woman’s House – Houses at Sottomarina, Chioggia
works associated
connected artists

1,910 - 1,915; oil on canvas
cm. 108 x 165

Inventory: AH00452AFC
Provenance: Milan, Zanetti Heirs Collection (in 1963)
Exibition: 2008-2009, Bergamo, s. n.

Purchased from the collection of the painter’s heirs by Magda Martinelli, the widow of Luigi Zago who enjoyed a brotherly friendship with Zanetti Zilla, the painting depicts a corner of Sottomarina, a ward of Chioggia. The subject was not new in the artist’s output, and the work is very similar to The Woman’s House (formerly Gaetano Marzotto and Elena Zanetti Collection, Milan) dated 1925, which depicts the same house and, on the right, another building with a workshop overlooking the wharf – not present in the work in the Collection. Here, instead, we see a covered mooring and, in the background, the trees of a garden. The use of oil paint, which the artist gradually abandoned for tempera, also enables us to date the painting to no later than the mid-1910s.
At this time Zanetti Zilla made his name as a refined interpreter of landscape painting in the Venice area, painting places and subjects that also appealed to other contemporary artists like Francesco Sartorelli and Lodovico Cavaleri, whose Lagoon and Canal at Chioggia are worthy of mention. Zanetti Zilla’s depiction of the Venetian lagoon is distinguished by the use of bright colours and a decorative style that reveals a kinship with Secessionist trends. It is not coincidental that during this period he took part in the Prima Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte della Secessione di Roma, where he was indicated as the leader of the Veneto group of which, among others, Guido Cadorin and Guido Marussig were members. The following year, 1914, he was invited to create a personal room at the Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte di Venezia, on which occasion works like On the Bacchiglione (Venice, Galleria Internazionale d’Arte Moderna Ca’ Pesaro), which has the same bright golden hues as The Woman’s House, entered public collections. While pure colour and light effects prevail in the work displayed in Venice, a narrative element is also introduced in the painting in the Collection. This consists in the fishermen and boats in the foreground, described with thin brushwork but with a richness of colour that is particularly evident in the play of reflections on the water.

Sources:Archivio Storico Intesa Sanpaolo, Patrimonio archivistico Cariplo, Opere d'arte. Atti d'acquisto ex Cariplo. Fald. 1/3, pratica no. 879 R/262


Sergio Rebora, Vettore Zanetti Zilla, La casa della comare o Case a Sottomarina - Chioggia, in Sergio Rebora, a cura di, Le collezioni d’arte. L’Ottocento, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde, Milano, 1999, n. 242, p. 347, ill.;
Fernando Noris, a cura di, Ottocento tra realtà e sogno. Il lungo secolo della pittura italiana e lombarda, catalogo della mostra, Bergamo, Spazio Viterbi, 28 novembre 2008 - 22 febbraio 2009, Provincia di Bergamo - Fondazione Cariplo, Bergamo - Milano, 2008, ill. p. 72

Laura Casone
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