Fonda Enrico, Fisherman
works associated

1,925; oil on canvas
cm. 105 x 100
Signed bottom right: "E. Fonda"
Inventory: AI00049AFC
Provenance: Milan, Società per le Belle Arti ed Esposizione Permanente (1926)
Exibition: 1926, Milano, Palazzo della Permanente, Prima mostra d'arte del Novecento Italiano, n. 45; 2020-2021, Varese, n. 55

Purchased in 1926 at the Prima Mostra del Novecento Italiano mounted at the Società per le Belle Arti ed Esposizione Permanente, the painting depicts a fisherman sitting in his workplace in a port. The subject is inspired by the area this Istrian artist comes from, and he loved painting that landscape, as is evident from the other six views included in the Collection Rovigno, Broni or Landscape with Trees and Sea, Isola Broni, Zara, Rovigno and Pola, all dated 1924. Fonda had studied at the Budapest Academy and had won a scholarship to specialise in Munich. In 1924 he moved to Milan where he was influenced by the artists of the Novecento Italiano. His contact with that milieu gradually led him to refine what he had learned in Venice during the early 1920s, when he was drawn to the Burano School and the exhibitions mounted by Ca’ Pesaro. The realism that this work shares with Portrait of a Woman by Mario Biazzi, remained an important element in his painting, as is evident from the way the artist rendered the man’s features. While the landscape that can be seen through the window is influenced by Fonda’s study of Paul Cézanne’s work, which he had an opportunity to admire in the retrospective that the 12th Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte della Città di Venezia devoted to the French artist in 1920. In those years, many artists in the Cariplo Collection, as is evident in Corenno PlinioLago di Como by Cesare Monti, looked with renewed interest to the construction of simplified massy volumes, which seemed to correspond to the elements of the Neoclassical style of the "return to order".

Sources:Archivio Storico Intesa Sanpaolo, Patrimonio Cariplo, Fondo Storico, Spese. Addenda. Fald.1, pratica no. 8637, 6 April 1926


Novecento Italiano, Catalogo della Prima Mostra d’arte, catalogo della mostra, Milano, Palazzo della Società per le Belle Arti ed Esposizione Permanente, febbraio – marzo 1926, Arti Grafiche Enrico Gualdoni, Milano, 1926, p. 37, n. 45;
Paola Zatti, Enrico Fonda, Pescatore, in Sergio Rebora, a cura di, Le collezioni d’arte. Il Novecento, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio delle Province Lombarde, Milano, 2000, n. 131, p. 154, ill.;
Sergio Rebora, a cura di, con la collaborazione di Lucia Molino, Nel salotto del collezionista, catalogo della mostra, Varese, Castello di Masnago - Musei Civici di Varese, 3 ottobre 2020 - 31 gennaio 2021, Silvana editoriale, Cinisello Balsamo, 2020, n. 55, pp. 146-147

Antonella Crippa
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