Gola Emilio, Noon
works associated

1,922; oil on canvas
cm. 101 x 135
Signed bottom left: “E. Gola”; on the back of the canvas: “La presente è opera di mio/ padre Emilio Gola eseguita a/ Olgiate nel 1922/Carlo Gola”; on the stretcher, top centre, stamp: “EMILIO GOLA”; on the back of the canvas, written with brush: “23”; on the stretcher, label: “Esposizione Belle Arti Società Permanente / Emilio Gola /Dr. Gobbi”
Inventory: AH01734AFC
Provenance: Milan, Collection Piero Gobbi (in 1956); Finarte, Auction 872, Milan, 9 November 1993 post auction buy)
Exibition: 1956, Milano, n. 92; 2016, Lecco, s.n.; 2017-2018, Legnano, n. 14

The stamp with the name “EMILIO GOLA”, the authentication by the artist’s son, Carlo, on the back of the canvas (“La presente è opera di mio/ padre Emilio Gola eseguita a/ Olgiate nel 1922/Carlo Gola”) and the number “23” would seem to relate to an inventory of the works that were still in the painter’s studio when he died in December 1923. In 1956, on the occasion of the retrospective devoted to the artist at the Società per le Belle Arti e Esposizione Permanente, the work was documented as being in the collection of Piero Gobbi, one of the foremost collectors of Emilio Gola’s work and former owner of Seascape at Capo Mele, now in the Cariplo Collection. All trace of this painting was lost until it was purchased by Cariplo on the antique market in 1993. The attestation by the artist’s son on the back of the canvas informs us of the date of execution and the place depicted. The same view of Olgiate Molgora, situated north of Milan, recurs in another work in the Cariplo Collection, Landscape, also datable to the 1920s, but here the framing places the large building, possibly a factory, in the distance and the hill behind it, in the centre of the painting. This confirms Gola’s particular way of doing many replicas and variants of the same subject as part of his constant and intense pictorial research. The theme of female figures in repose, depicted in unnatural poses, is also recurrent in the series of seascapes executed between 1915 and 1918, including On the Beach at Alassio in the Collection. Here, however, the peasant women who find relief from the afternoon heat in the shade of the large trees virtually become part of the landscape and are reduced to mere extras. This approach is typical of the artist’s maturity, which excludes the human figure or makes it marginal in the composition to give maximum impact to luxuriant nature, as in The Meeting (Landscape) also dated to 1922 (previously owned by Hon. Ezio Vigorelli, in 1956).

The work under examination stands out in the artist’s production for its absolute modernity. This is embodied in the dense, cursory brushwork, the palette limited to a few shades of green and brown, and, above all, the ‘unfinished’ look of the canvas, which is particularly heightened in the tree trunk, left incomplete, which divides the composition into two asymmetric sections. This innovative approach to landscape painting marked Gola’s return to the Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte della Città di Venezia, which had been suspended during the First World War, where he exhibited Beach at Alassio, Repose and Beneath the Trees in 1920,  and Port of the Lido and Brianza Hills in 1922.

Sources:Archivio Storico Intesa Sanpaolo, Patrimonio archivistico Cariplo, Opere d’arte. Atti d’acquisto ex Cariplo. Fald. 3/3, pratica n. 879 R/988


Giorgio Nicodemi, Emilio Gola, in Remo Taccani, a cura di, Emilio Gola, 1851-1923. Mostra celebrativa, Milano, Palazzo della Permanente, marzo-aprile 1956, Edizioni della Permanente, Milano, 1956, n. 92, p. 40 (con errata datazione al 1923);
Dipinti del XIX secolo, Asta 872, Finarte, Milano, 1993, n. 91, p. 58;
Sergio Rebora, Emilio Gola, Meriggio, in Sergio Rebora, a cura di, Le collezioni d’arte. L’Ottocento, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde, Milano, 1999, n. 113, pp. 194-195, 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, p. 77;
Francesco Guzzetti, a cura di, Natura e città. Morandi, Morlotti e il paesaggio italiano tra le due guerre, catalogo della mostra, Lecco, Palazzo delle Paure, 17 gennaio - 3 aprile 2016, Cattaneo Paolo Grafiche, Oggiono (LC), 2016, pp. 44-45;
Giovanna Palamidese e Lucia Molino, a cura di, Il Dialogo Infinito con la Natura. Capolavori d'arte da Induno a De Pisis, da Morandi a Morlotti, catalogo della mostra, Legnano, Palazzo Leone da Perego, 2 dicembre 2017 - 4 marzo 2018, Silvana editoriale, Cinisello Balsamo, 2017, n. 14, pp. 54-55

Elena Lissoni
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