Cascella Michele, Open window; View of Portofino; Portofino
works associated

1,956; oil on canvas
cm. 101 x 73
signed and dated bottom left: "Michele Cascella/ Portofino 1956"; on the back, sticked on the canvas, newspaper cutting:“ Il Secolo XIX – Mercoledì 15 agosto 1956 […]”
Inventory: AI01527AFC
Provenance: Milan, Finarte, 19 June 1986
Exibition: 1956, Portofino, Azienda Autonoma di Portofino (senza catalogo), s. n.

The purchase of Via San Calimero in Milan and Portofino on the antique market in 1986 provided the Cariplo Collection with two more significant works bearing witness to the creative trajectory of Michele Cascella, as already documented by Along the Naviglio Canal and Entrance to the Portello, both bought from the Galleria Pesaro, Milan, in 1929. The large canvas was painted in 1956 and presented in August of the same year in a show organized at the Azienda Autonoma di Portofino by the writer Salvator Gotta, as documented by the newspaper cutting of a review of the event attached to the back of the canvas. Now a specialist in landscape painting, the artist had been spending a great deal of time since 1938 in the region of Liguria at Portofino, which soon became a recurrent subject of the works produced in his maturity. Throughout his long career, Cascella was in the habit of addressing the same subjects repeatedly to the point of creating an authentic repertoire of places constituting fundamental stages of his human and artistic journey: Ortona, Portofino, Paris, New York and Milan. The artist’s first views of Portofino focused on the details of the landscape and in particular on the area around his studio, capturing an intimate and private dimension of the place in delicate pastels and watercolours. It was only in his maturity that he produced the panoramic views enveloped in joyful, intense Mediterranean light that constitute his stylistic hallmark. Within this vast repertoire, the Cariplo canvas considered here is distinguished by its photograph-like use of the studio window to frame the landscape in the distance. The lively harbour of Portofino and the vessels out on the sea are seen between the olive branches beyond the balustrade of wrought iron in carefully studied compositional equilibrium. This device was used again by the artist in Window in Portofino (1957, J. Silverstein, North Bergen, New Jersey), which is almost a slightly larger replica of the work under examination, mentioned in the monographic study devoted to Michele Cascella in 1958 with an introduction by Georges Pillement, one of the most authoritative Parisian critics at the time.

Sources:Archivio Storico Intesa Sanpaolo, Patrimonio Archivistico Cariplo, Opere d’arte. Atti d’acquisto ex Cariplo. Fald. 2/3, pratica no. 879 R/708


Ghil., Nuove pitture di Cascella esposte a Portofino, in “Il Secolo XIX”, mercoledì 15 agosto 1956, (Finestra aperta);
Opere d'arte contemporanea: dipinti e disegni, asta 553, Finarte, Milano, 1986, n. 184, p. 79, ill.;
Giuseppe Bonini, a cura di,, Catalogo ragionato generale dei dipinti di Michele Cascella , Giorgio Mondadori & associati, Milano, 1988, n. 56/3, p. 225 ill. (Veduta di Portofino);
Tesori d'arte delle banche lombarde, Associazione Bancaria Italiana, Milano, 1995, p. 377, n. 735;
Francesca Paola Rusconi, Michele Cascella, Portofino, in Sergio Rebora, a cura di, Le collezioni d'arte. Il Novecento, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde, Milano, 2000, n.56 p. 89, ill.;
Sergio Rebora, La pittura di paesaggio in Lombardia nel Novecento. La pinacoteca della Fondazione Cariplo, in “ Ca’ de sass”, n. 151, Cariplo, Milano, dicembre 2001, p.12, ill.

Elena Lissoni
Credits © Copyright 2009 by Fondazione Cariplo. Tutti i diritti riservati.
Esclusivamente i contenuti della collezione online di sono disponibili secondo una licenza CC BY-SA