Fonda Enrico, Rovigno
works associated

1,924; oil on plywood
cm. 27,7 x 33,7
Signed bottom left “E. Fonda”; on the back, in pencil, top left “303”, dated and initialled top right “Rovigno/ agosto 1924/ E.F.”
Inventory: AI02123AFC
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), all dating from 1924, was acquired in 1991 with the Istituto Bancario Italiano (IBI) Collection, which it entered from the Credito di Venezia e del Rio de la Plata Collection.

As the inscription on the back states, this work depicts a view of the town of Rovigno, on the west coast of the Istrian peninsula. Starting from a study from life, the artist then created a rigorous composition of synthetic forms and volumes in a space devoid of perspective. The eye is drawn from the fishing boats in the foreground, to the compact group of houses and the bell tower of the Church of Santa Eufemia, on the top of the hill.

Executed on the artist’s return from a stay in Venice – where he had participated with considerable success in the Ca’ Pesaro exhibitions from 1920 on and in the 1922 Venice Biennale – this painting seems to have been influenced by the Scuola di Burano in its use of dense vibrant impasto, while the rendering of the volumes derives from a study of the oeuvre of Paul Cézanne, which Fonda had admired in the retrospective that the 12th Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte della Città di Venezia had devoted to the French artist in 1920.

The painter’s frequent visits to his place of origin are recorded not only in the views in the Cariplo Collection, but also in the numerous works entitled Karst Village and  Karst Landscape exhibited in the Ca’ Pesaro and Opera Bevilacqua La Masa exhibitions between 1923 and 1927. After moving to Milan in 1924, and until 1927, when he settled permanently in Paris, Fonda continued to spend long summers on the coasts of Dalmatia and the Karst Plateau. An Istrian landscape, rendered in simplified, massy volumes is reprised in the background of The Fisherman in the Cariplo Collection and of Self-Portrait of the Artist with his Wife (Trieste, Museo Revoltella), both shown in the Prima Mostra del Novecento Italiano, mounted at the Società per le Belle Arti ed Esposizione Permanente, in Milan, in 1926.


Sources:Archivio Fondazione Cariplo, Pratiche Ex IBI. Opere d'arte. Fald.2/2, scheda carico opere d'arte IBI no. 105


Paola Zatti, Enrico Fonda, Rovigno, in Sergio Rebora, a cura di, Le collezioni d'arte. Il Novecento, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde, Milano, 2000, n. 125, p. 152, ill

Elena Lissoni
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