Lupo Alessandro, Going to Market
works associated

1,930 - 1,935; oil on canvas
cm. 49,5 x 64,5
signed bottom right: "A. Lupo"
Inventory: AI02027AFC
Provenance: Segrate, Giovanna Gallo Collection (until 1988)

This work was purchased along with the Istituto Bancario Italiano (IBI) Collection in 1991.
The first market scenes appeared in Alessandro Lupo’s repertoire in the early 20th century, as attested by The Flower Market in Piazza Castello, Turin of 1915 (private collection). This subject was to characterise the artist’s repertory from the 1920s on, along with a vast production of landscapes and compositions with animals, which did extremely well at international exhibitions.
In 1925 the Salon des Beaux Arts in Paris featured Madame Bésicles, a large-scale market scene that takes its title from the woman wearing glasses in the foreground, which was immediately acclaimed by public and critics alike; another huge canvas, Chivasso Market (175 x 220 cm), was displayed at the Galleria Scopinich, Milan, in 1929. The artist’s success in Paris continued in 1926 with the display of Old Worker – a large canvas portraying a white carthorse – at the Salon and with a solo exhibition of around forty works at the Galerie R. G. Michel.  
From the mid-1920s the market scenes - replicated in countless variants and set in Chivasso, Turin, Verona, and Venice - ensured Lupo’s great popularity with the public and sure-fire commercial success, due to the simple, appealing subject, the lively chiaroscuro and, above all, the rich, brilliant chromatic effects. The artist alternated large crowded compositions rich in anecdotes – for example, Sweet Pepper Market, displayed in his solo show at the Galleria Scopinich in 1934, Cooks’ Delight, exhibited at the Galleria Italiana d’Arte, Milan, in 1944 and Chivasso Market in this Collection – with smaller works in which he depicted ordinary episodes of peasant life featuring women carrying baskets filled with greens or poultry-sellers at work. The painting in the Collection belongs to this category, depicting a scene of popular life with, in the foreground, a woman carrying a jar on her way to market.
Datable to the 1930s, the work displays the rapid handling and broad, thick brushstrokes typical of the painter’s mature production that still adhered to the canons of 19th-century Piedmont painting.

Sources:Archivio Fondazione Cariplo, Pratiche Ex IBI. Opere d’arte. Fald.1/2, scheda carico opere d’arte IBI no. 1354.


Paola Zatti, Alessandro Lupo, Andando al mercato, in Sergio Rebora, a cura di, Le collezioni d'arte. Il Novecento, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde, Milano, 2000, n. 167, pp. 186-188, ill.

Elena Lissoni
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