Fonda Enrico, Pola
works associated

1,924; oil on plywood
cm. 27,3 x 33,3
Signed bottom left: “E. Fonda”; on the back, top left, in pencil: “102”, dated top centre “Pola agosto 1924”
Inventory: AI02136AFC
Provenance: Credito di Venezia e del Rio de la Plata Collection; Istituto Bancario Italiano Collection (until 1991)

The group of six landscapes (Rovigno, Brioni or Landscape with Trees and Sea, Island of Brioni, Zara, Rovigno and Pola) was acquired in 1991 with the Istituto Bancario Italiano (IBI) Collection, which it had entered from the  Credito di Venezia e del Rio de la Plata Collection.



Like the other works in the Cariplo Collection, this small panel was also painted in August 1924, when the artist was staying on the Istrian peninsula and depicted landscapes and townscapes from life.

This painting shows the Temple of Augustus at Pola, after the   restoration work carried out in 1922 and 1924. The Italian flag can be seen along the side of the building, perhaps to suggest a link between the Roman origins of the place, evidenced by its monuments, and the events that led to the town’s annexation to the Kingdom of Italy at the end of World War I.

The solid massive volumes of the monumental architecture, here defined by sharp, regular outlines, can also be found in the watercolour entitled Piazza della Borsa in Trieste (private collection) and the later views of the Church of Notre Dame and the Church of the Madeleine in Paris. The latter are distinguished by a broader and more modern approach to the image and were exhibited at the painter’s first commemorative show curated by Nino Barbantini  at the Opera Bevilacqua La Masa, in 1949. Critics studied the composition and volumes of Fonda’s works after the artist’s untimely death in Paris in 1929. They especially emphasized the influence of Paul Cézanne, whose style Fonda reworked in his mature production by using a more liquid and transparent pigment and a tenuous palette of greys and blues.


Sources:Archivio Fondazione Cariplo, Pratiche Ex IBI. Opere d'arte. Fald.2/2, scheda carico opere d'arte IBI no. 104


Paola Zatti, Enrico Fonda, Pola, in Sergio Rebora, a cura di, Le collezioni d'arte. Il Novecento, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde, Milano, 2000, n. 130, pp. 153-154, ill

Elena Lissoni
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