Bazzaro Leonardo, Alpine Scene – The Mottarone
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1,900 - 1,905; oil on canvas
cm. 100 x 69
Signed bottom left: “L. Bazzaro”
Inventory: FCIP 0090
Provenance: Segrate, Giovanna Gallo Collection (in 1987); Rome, Istituto Bancario Italiano (IBI) Collection (until 1991)
Exibition: 2017-2018, Legnano, n. 6; 2017, Novara, n. 33

Although this large canvas entered the Istituto Bancario Italiano (IBI) Collection from a private collection under the title The Mottarone, the subject is more likely a pasture in the Val di Cogne.

The erroneous identification can be attributed to the alpine view’s having been associated with the extensive series of landscapes, which includes Herdsmen’s Huts at Macugnaga, executed by the artist during his visits to the environs of Gignese, on Lake Maggiore, from the last decade of the 19th century on. These places and the highest peaks of the Lombardy and Valle d’Aosta alps are recurrent in Bazzaro’s landscape painting. The Gran Paradiso and Val di Cogne provided the inspiration for many of his canvases, including Cogne Landscape in the Banca Intesa Sanpaolo Collection, which depicts the same view of the glaciers as the work held by Cariplo. A similar subject is represented in the painting The Matterhorn, in the Galleria d’Arte Moderna Paolo e Adele Giannoni, Novara, where the figure of the young shepherdess is placed in the centre of a valley flanked scenographically by snow-capped peaks. It is also possible that the same composition was used for Return from Gran Paradiso, the canvas displayed at the Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte della Città di Venezia in 1912.

With respect to the aforementioned works, datable to the mid-1910s, here the pictorial handling is less spare: the skilful juxtaposition of greens and yellows in the rendering of the meadows alludes to the thaw and to fresh new pastures, while the bright blue of the sky is reflected in the sweep of the glacier whose dazzling whiteness is slightly muted by the grey of the rocks. Light and colour effects are rendered equally painstakingly in another alpine subject in the Collection, In Midwinter by Filippo Carcano, an artist who, along with Bazzaro, was one of the protagonists of Lombard Naturalism.

Sources:Archivio Fondazione Cariplo, Pratiche Ex IBI. Opere d’arte. Fald. 1/2, scheda carico opere d’arte IBI n. 1299

Bibliography

Sergio Rebora, Leonardo Bazzaro, Scena alpestre o Il Mottarone, in Sergio Rebora, a cura di, Le collezioni d’arte. L’Ottocento, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde, Milano, 1999, n. 11, p. 72, ill. p. 73 ;
Francesco Luigi Maspes e Enzo Savoia, Scena alpestre o Il Mottarone, in Francesco Luigi Maspes e Enzo Savoia, a cura di, Leonardo Bazzaro. Catalogo ragionato delle opere, Antiga Edizioni, Treviso, 2011, n. 296, pp. 258-259;
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. 6, pp. 38-39;
Susanna Borlandelli e Lucia Molino, a cura di, Sentieri di Luce. In cammino con Morbelli e Nunes Vais, catalogo della mostra, Novara, Complesso Monumentale del Broletto, 6 maggio - 25 settembre 2017, Silvana editoriale, Cinisello Balsamo, 2017, n. 33, pp. 90-91

Laura Casone
 
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