Lupo Alessandro, The Market in Chivasso

1,920 - 1,930; oil on canvas
cm. 87 x 150
Signed bottom right: “A. Lupo” Old label on stretcher top left: “942/ anno Lupo/Mercato di/ Chivasso”
Inventory: AI01732AFC
Provenance: 1993, antique market
Exibition: 2001-2002, Aosta, s.n.

The view is constructed by using the buildings on the piazza and the church as a backdrop for the scene of a wagon driving through a bustling market. The artist used a photograph of the place in order to reproduce the setting and examine the relations of light and shadow in the view. It was, in fact, his practice to visit the locations selected and then reconstruct his first-hand impressions in the studio with the aid of photographs, carefully divided into squares for the purpose of precise reproduction. His limitations as a draughtsman are evident in the invented parts of the work, which are all somewhat sketchy with the exception of the horse, one of the major subjects in the painter’s repertoire.

The painting belongs to a large and homogeneous group produced in the 1920s and mostly devoted to market scenes and animals. It is for such works that Lupo was best known and most in demand with collectors. The success of the subject with the public culminated with the a large-format view of the market (The Market in Chivasso) exhibited in a solo show at the Galleria Scopinich, Milan, in 1929, just one year after the painter’s work had been rejected for exhibition in Venice at the 16th Esposizione Internazionale di Belle Arti di Venezia and hence banished from the official artistic circuits as an outmoded follower of the canons of late 19th-century Naturalism.

Sources:Archivio Storico Intesa Sanpaolo, Patrimonio Cariplo, Opere d’arte. Atti d’acquisto ex Cariplo. Fald. 3/3, pratica no. 879 R/988


Dipinti del XIX secolo, Asta 872, Finarte, Milano, 1993, n. 55, p. 35;
Paola Zatti, Alessandro Lupo. Il mercato di Chivasso, in Sergio Rebora, a cura di, Le collezioni d’arte. Il Novecento, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde, Milano, 2000, n. 168, pp. 186-188, ill.;
Giuseppe Luigi Marini, Alessandro Lupo. Un colorista del Novecento, catalogo della mostra, Aosta, centro Saint Benin, 7 dicembre 2001 – 14 aprile 2002, Tipografia Valdostana, Aosta, 2002, ill. pp. 110-111, p. 15.

Elena Lissoni
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