Gola Emilio, Landscape
works associated
connected artists

1,920 - 1,923; oil on canvas mounted on panel
cm. 78,5 x 124,5
Signed bottom right: “E. Gola”; on the stretcher, not original, at the top: “Casa/ Angelo Rizzi/cornici, mobili …/ Firenze”
Inventory: AH01567AFC
Provenance: Finarte, Auction 726, Milan, 23 March 1990
Exibition: 1989, Milano, Palazzo Reale, n. 48

This painting was bought, along with Seascape at Capo Mele, on the antique market in 1990.

It shows a landscape in the environs of Olgiate Molgora, north of Milan, where the artist spent many months of the year in the family villa “Il Buttero”. Since the 1880s Emilio Gola had depicted these places repeatedly, initially showing a preference for the small valley of Mondonico and later focusing on the sweeping, luxuriant Brianza countryside. In this broad view that unfolds in a series of parallel planes, the artist uses broken brushstrokes to suggest forms without defining them, alternating impasto with subtle transparencies – a technique typical of his mature period. From 1905 on, Gola radically altered his approach, using in his landscape painting sharp and jarring colour contrasts together with a freer and looser handling. Associated with this mature period are Brianza-Summer (formerly owned by Giovanni Gussoni, in 1956), Garden at Olgiate, datable to between 1920 and 1922 (previously in the Cesura Collection) and In the Meadow, displayed in 1989 at the artist’s retrospective at Palazzo Reale, Milan, and distinguished by the same bright, intense colours and terse brushstrokes that tend to merge the figures with the landscape.

Critics with a 19th-century mindset viewed the development of Gola’s artistic language negatively, stressing the departure from his strictly naturalistic roots, and even attributing this to a marked decline in his vision. By contrast, it is precisely his late works that make him one of the acknowledged protagonists of 20th-century Italian art, whose synthetic concept of landscape and singular technique influenced a whole generation of up-and-coming artists, from Donato Frisia to Arturo Tosi and Carlo Carrà. This is evident also from the critical reappraisal of his work that occurred a few years after his death, in the form of a solo exhibition presented by Margherita Sarfatti on the occasion of the 15th Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte della Città di Venezia in 1926, and a major commemorative exhibition held in 1929 at the Galleria Milano, where the painters of the Novecento Italiano were then showing their works.

Sources:Archivio Storico Intesa Sanpaolo, Patrimonio archivistico Cariplo, Opere d’arte. Atti d’acquisto ex Cariplo. Fald. 2/3, pratica n. 879 R/830


Nicoletta Colombo, Emilio Gola. Paesaggio, in Raffaele De Grada, a cura di, Emilio Gola, catalogo della mostra, Milano, Palazzo Reale 1989, s.e., Milano, 1989, n. 48, p. 86, ill.;
Dipinti del XIX secolo, Asta 726, Finarte, Milano, 1990, n. 118, pp. 146-147;
Sergio Rebora, Emilio Gola, Paesaggio, in Sergio Rebora, a cura di, Le collezioni d’arte. L’Ottocento, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde, Milano, 1999, n. 112, p. 193, ill.

Elena Lissoni
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