Fonda Enrico, Broni or Landscape with Trees and Sea
works associated

1,924; oil on plywood
cm. 27,2 x 32,5
Signed bottom left: “E. Fonda”; on the back, top right: “Broni 1924 estate”; on the back Landscape
Inventory: AI02124AFC
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.



The Brioni Archipelago, off the south-west coast of the Istrian peninsula, now a National Park, was a favourite tourist destination from the 20th century on, much appreciated for its exceptionally rich and varied natural environment and for the many archaeological remains that are evidence of human settlement since the 3rd millennium BC.

This work, together with the other five in the Cariplo Collection, was executed in August 1924, after the artist – who was originally from Fiume – returned from a stay in Venice. Unlike the Island of Brioni, where the view is constructed by exploiting the geometric arrangement of the ruins of an ancient Roman villa, this version depicts the natural landscape. From the tall trees in the foreground the eye is drawn to the broad expanse of sea and the strip of land in the distance, which divides the scene into equal sections, conferring a classical equilibrium on the composition. The facture with its dense brushstrokes and the limited palette with its few shades of green and blue, skilfully alternated, give the impression that the work was painted from life.

Many karst landscapes – stylistically similar to the work in the Cariplo Collection – date from this period of the artist’s career, before he moved to Milan in 1924, as well as some portraits and views of the Trieste hinterland, painted on his frequent visits to Villa Letizia, Italo Svevo’s summer residence. The painter was related to Antonio Fonda Savio, Svevo’s son-in-law and he kept in contact with the writer through an affectionate correspondence until 1928.


Sources:Archivio Fondazione Cariplo, Pratiche Ex IBI. Opere d'arte. Fald.2/2, scheda carico opere d'arte IBI no. 675


Paola Zatti, Enrico Fonda, Broni o Paesaggio con alberi e mare, in Sergio Rebora, a cura di, Le collezioni d'arte. Il Novecento, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde, Milano, 2000, n. 126, p. 152, ill

Elena Lissoni
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