Biazzi Mario, Portrait of a Woman
AI00012AFC.jpg
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1,934; oil on canvas
cm. 86 x 75
Signed and dated top right: “M. Biazzi/1934”
Inventory: AI00012AFC
Provenance: Cremona, Sindacato interprovinciale Fascista di belle arti di Lombardia, Sezione di Cremona (1935)
Exibition: 1935, Cremona, sala III, n. 14

The painting was purchased in 1935 on the occasion of the 1st Mostra del Sindacato Interprovinciale Fascista di Belle Arti della Sezione di Cremona, on Roberto Farinacci’s recommendation. This organisation was founded precisely for the exhibition and Biazzi, who was the trustee, was appointed to chair the Commission responsible for organising it. He drew up the regulations governing the show, which was intended “to bring together all the artists in the province, from every movement (provided they possessed great artistic dignity) in order to raise the spiritual level of Cremona artistic circles.”

 The canvas depicts the artist’s wife, Cleonice Pilotti, a model he had married a year before he executed the portrait. She is smiling and seated against a green background, with a coat draped over her shoulders. Her features, especially the eyes and mouth, and her hands are rendered in a realistic style that is to be found also in Fisherman by Enrico Fonda.

In the 1930s, Biazzi was particularly well-known in Cremona for his portraits of members of the upper middle class, which are quite different from this one with its familiar and clearly “unofficial” mood. His formation took place in the Milanese artistic milieu of the 1910s, especially through his contacts with Anselmo Bucci, Aldo Carpi, Leonardo Dudreville and Adolfo Wildt. During that period his brushwork acquired a certain confidence and was enriched by Symbolist influences from his long stay in England. After the First World War he returned to Cremona and became the “official” artist of the Fascist hierarchies, which is why he was isolated after the Second World War.

Sources:Archivio Storico Intesa Sanpaolo, Patrimonio Cariplo, Fondo Storico. Spese. Addenda. Fald.1, pratica no. 879 R/44, 28 May 1935

Bibliography

I Esposizione del Sindacato Belle Arti di Cremona. Catalogo delle opere, La buona stampa, Cremona, s. d. [1935], n. 14, s. p.;
L'ambrosiano, Anno XIII, n. 126, Milano, 27 maggio 1935, Milano, 1935, p. 3, ill.;
Leo Lecci, Mario Biazzi, Ritratto di donna, in Sergio Rebora, a cura di, Le collezioni d'arte. Il Novecento, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde, Cinisello Balsamo, 2000, n. 25, p. 59, ill.

Antonella Crippa
 
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