Spadini Armando, In the Gardens of Villa Borghese
AI01515AFC.jpg
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1,915 - 1,920; oil on canvas
cm. 71 x 82
Signed bottom left: “Spadini”
Inventory: AI01515AFC
Provenance: Rome, Emanuele Fiano Collection; Milan, Gaetano Sperati Collection; Milan, Galleria d’Arte Sant’Ambrogio, Milan, Finarte (1985)
Exibition: 1924, Venezia, n. 7; 1969, Milano, n. 47; 2016, Lecco, s.n.

This painting was exhibited in 1924 at a solo show of Armando Spadini’s work held in Venice within the framework of the 14th Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte della Città di Venezia. It was lent for the occasion by the Roman lawyer Emanuele Fiano together with many of the other works on display. While this event definitively established the artist’s reputation, he had little time to enjoy his success, as he died a few months later. The work was bought for the Cariplo Collection on the antique market in 1985.

 

In the Gardens of Villa Borghese is a view of the celebrated park in Rome, a subject depicted on various occasions as from 1913. In this version the artist paints the leaves with light touches of colour arranged so as to create the effect of branches swaying in the breeze. Spadini learned this technique from the Impressionist painters, whose work he saw at the first show of the Secessione Romana movement in 1913. He had been particularly struck by Renoir’s way of painting, which led him to move away from the Symbolist and Pre-Raphaelite approaches of his background in Florence, influenced by the school of nude studies and the magazine Leonardo.

 

Spadini was regarded as a die-hard conservative due to his painting of intimist subjects and his technique. His isolation became more marked after World War I, not least because of negative criticism in the magazine Valori Plastici. It was only after his death that these judgements were officially revised and Ardengo Soffici wrote a monograph on his work.

Sources:Archivio Storico Intesa Sanpaolo, Patrimonio Cariplo, Opere d’arte. Atti d’acquisto ex Cariplo. Fald. 2/3, pratica no. 879 R/696

Bibliography

Ugo Nebbia, La XIV Esposizione d'Arte a Venezia, Istituto Italiano D'arti Grafiche, Bergamo, n. 7, p. 27, s. ill.;
Mario Borgiotti, Genio dei Macchiaioli, s.e., Milano, 1965, n. 57, p. 690, tav. 336;
Dipinti del XIX Secolo, Asta 532, Finarte, Milano, 1985, n.108;
Tesori d'arte delle banche lombarde, Associazione Bancaria Italiana, Milano, 1995, p. 508, ill. n. 1041;
Paola Zatti, Armando Spadini, Nel Parco di Villa Borghese, in Sergio Rebora, a cura di, Le collezioni d’arte. Il Novecento, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde, Milano, 2000, n. 316 p. 392-393, ill.;
Francesco Guzzetti, a cura di, Natura e città. Morandi, Morlotti e il paesaggio italiano tra le due guerre, catalogo della mostra, Lecco, Palazzo delle Paure, 17 gennaio - 3 aprile 2016, Cattaneo Paolo Grafiche, Oggiono (LC), 2016, pp. 52-53

Antonella Crippa
 
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