Calvi Ercole, View of Brianza
AH01599AFC.jpg
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1,865; oil on canvas
cm. 70 x 100
Signed bottom right: “E. Calvi”
Inventory: AH01599AFC
Provenance: Parabiago, Giuseppe Corniola Collection (until 1990)
Exibition: 1998-1999, Monza, n. 48; 2008-2009, Bergamo, s. n.; 2010, Monza, n. V.3

Purchased from a private collection, the painting entered the Cariplo Collection in 1990.

The subject is one that recurs most frequently in the artist’s output; in fact, on his return to Verona in 1858 after a long period in Milan, he devoted himself mainly to landscapes and ceased to paint urban views.

The artist’s majestic vision of nature is seen in the mountains towering over the bridge, the swiftly flowing torrent and the massive rocks. A beam of light illuminates the scene from above right, creating a rich gamut of chiaroscuro transitions from shade to bright light, which were to become the hallmark of his landscape painting.

His mature works combined a Romantic concept of the view – inherited from his teacher Giuseppe Canella and characterised by the attentive rendering of atmospheric and luministic values – with elements of the innovative German painting that had arrived in Italy through exhibitions in Milan and Venice. In the 1870s, the artist’s rather repetitive repertoire of lake views and Brianza landscapes was based on models developed by his teacher and, in all likelihood, on the Lombard pictorial tradition established at the begining of the century by Marco Gozzi and his first topographical views of the area.

Although Calvi achieved great commercial success by adopting a well-tried, easily understood scheme and pleasing subjects, he was soon judged severely by the critics who disapproved of a certain repetition in his work and his mannered style.

From November 2011, the work has been on view at the Gallerie d’Italia in Milan.

Sources:Archivio Storico Intesa Sanpaolo, Patrimonio Cariplo, Opere d’arte. Atti d’acquisto ex Cariplo. Fald. 3/3, pratica no. 879 R/844

Bibliography

Tesori d'arte delle banche lombarde, Associazione Bancaria Italiana, Milano, 1995, p. 228, ill. n. 421;
Giuseppe Fusari, Ercole Calvi, Veduta della Brianza, in Carlo Pirovano, a cura di, Luci e colori del vero. Genti e paesi nella pittura veneta e lombarda dalle collezioni Ambroveneta-Banca Intesa e Fondazione Cariplo, catalogo della mostra, Monza, Serrone della Villa Reale, 20 novembre 1998 - 24 gennaio 1999, Electa, Milano, 1998, n. 48, p. 111;
Paola Zatti, Ercole Calvi. Veduta della Brianza, in Sergio Rebora, a cura di, Le collezioni d’arte. L’Ottocento, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde, Milano, 1999, n. 35, pp. 98-99, ill. (datata al 1855 circa);
Giorgio Marini, Da Pietro Ronzoni a Ercole Calvi. La pittura di paesaggio a Verona, in Sergio Marinelli, a cura di, L’Ottocento a Verona, Cariverona Banca, Verona, 2001, p. 112, ill. n. 31, p. 104;
Chiara Gattoli, Ercole Calvi, Banco Popolare, Verona, 2007, ill. p. 35 (datata al 1865).;
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. 24;
Silvia Regonelli, Ercole Calvi, Veduta della Brianza, in Fernando Mazzocca, a cura di, Il paesaggio dell'Ottocento a Villa Reale. Le raccolte dei musei lombardi tra Neoclassicismo e Simbolismo, catalogo della mostra, Monza, Serrone della Villa Reale, 20 marzo 2010-11 luglio 2010, Allemandi, Torino, 2010, n. V. 3, p. 135, ill. p. 58;
Elena Lissoni, in Fernando Mazzocca, a cura di, Da Canova a Boccioni. Le collezioni della Fondazione Cariplo e di Intesa Sanpaolo, Skira, Milano, 2011, n. XI.162, p. 239, ill.

Elena Lissoni
 
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