All art is contemporary…Episode #12

“The battles”

A journey through Flashback’s works that represent the war, the combats on horseback, the battlefields.  

“Si vis pacem, para bellum.” 

Let us begin our pathway starting from the work of Venetian author Antonio Maria Marini (Venice 1668 – 1725) Battaglia – Scontro di cavalleria, oil on canvas of the 18th Century. A gory scene – consisting of men and horsed on the ground, soldiers with their swords unsheathed and ferocious expressions – stretches in the distance up to the horizon. The artist manages to express the strong dynamism of the warriors in a gloomy colored battlefield. 

Jaques Ignace Parrocel, born in 1646, French painter and engraver of Baroque soul, is proposing us a diptych: Battaglia e Saccheggio. What is impressive in the two works is the contrast between the ferocious action and the clear sky: death and horror opposed to the tranquility of light blue sprinkled with soft clouds. Both works feature the river element: in the looting, it is a distant element, whilst – in the fight – it plays an active role, since it hinders both the horses and the men in their crossing. 

The narration continues with a work by Felice Casorati, Studio per scena teatrale, a black and white tempera on havana paper applies on canvas, of 1934 approx. Besides his being a painter, the artist was set designer and costumier for the major Italian theaters. This work, which represents a war scene – most likely of the middle ages – with knights armed with spears – is supposed to be related to the “Torino” avant-garde theater, devised by patron Riccardo Gualino. 

We are concluding the series of battles with a work by Pieter De Neyn, oil on canvas of 1625 approx., Battaglia sul Fiume. In his career, the Dutch artist mainly dedicated to the painting of landscapes, wars and equestrian subjects. This work is an example of it: he painted the bed of a drained river. We see few spread knights, mainly in pairs, who are brandishing rifles and inciting their horses to a race that goes beyond the painting, towards a place the spectator cannot see. 

In the image, on the top Left /hand: Antonio Maria Marini, Battaglia – Scontro di cavalleria, (Battle – Cavalry fight) 1700 – 1710, oil on canvas, cm 180 x 230, courtesy of: Galleria Giamblanco (Turin). Followed by: Jaques Ignace Parrocel, Battaglia e Saccheggio (Battle and Looting), 1706, pair of oil on canvas, cm 82 x 118, courtesy of: Secol-Art di Masoero (Turin).
Below, on the LH side: Pieter De Neyn, Battaglia sul Fiume (Battle on River), 1625 approx., oil on panel, cm 27 x 32, courtesy of Galleria Luigi Caretto (Turin; Madrid). Followed by: Felice Casorati, Studio per scena teatrale (Study for theater scene) 1934 approx., black and white tempera on havana paper applied on canvas, cm 48 x 62, courtesy of Aleandri Arte Moderna (Rome).

All art is contemporary…Episode #11

“Elements of the universe”

Earth, sun, constellations, stars and planetary rings in Flashback, Extended Edition’s works.

“The Universe is commonly defined as the complex that includes all the space and what it contains, i.e.  matter  and energy, the planets, the stars, the galaxies and the contents of the intergalactic space.” 
(Wikipedia – Italian edition)

Let us start talking about the elements of the universe starting from Earth. The work by Claudio Rotta Loria, artist and philosopher from Turin, Studio di Equatore (made in 2001), is the representation of the globe. Its fully helical shape cuts across the space it is located in and emerges from the sheet thanks to its element in relief, such as the rope that cuts the globe into two, thus precisely defining the equator.  The blue recalls the color of water and of the sky. 

Daniel Seiter, a baroque artist, adds the Constellation element to our universe by work Diana e Orione, oil on canvas, of 1685 approx.
It represents the dramatic scene of the goddess who is unsuccessfully trying to reanimate Orion, addressing the arrow towards Aesculapius. Cheated by her brother Apollo, who was jealous of her love for a mortal, Diana threw an arrow to a far target, not knowing it was her beloved one. When she realized the mistake, she was overwhelmed by sorrow and Zeus compassionately turned Orion into the constellation we know. 

We are again talking about Stars introducing the drawing of the Star Ushak Carpet, coming from central Anatolia and made in the second half of the 17th century. This carpet is characterized by stellar medallions alternated to a lozenge. They are arranged in staggered parallel rows, so that they create an effect of infinite, as the universe is. It reminds us the complexity and shapes of space. 

Same as the famous and though mysterious rings of Saturn are composed by objects of different sizes, the very precious Rings of the nineteen thirties, coming from the United States, are punctuated by a magic trail of precious stones, a kaleidoscope of diamonds and emeralds that illuminate and reflect light.

We are ending our journey through the universe with our star, the Sun. In his work Alba (oil on panel, 1985), Salvatore Mangione, aka Salvo, portraits the star arising in a landscape of warm vivid colors, rendering us a feeling of peace in admiring the trees and the shadows the sun projects onto the ground: the dawning of a new day.

In the image, on the top Left /hand: Daniel Seiter, Diana e Orione (Diana and Orion), 1685 approx., oil on canvas, cm 174.5 x 155.5, courtesy of: Galleria Giamblanco (Turin). Followed by: Unites States, Rings, 1930 approx., two platinum and diamonds rings and a platinum, diamonds and emerald ring, courtesy of: Lorenzo e Paola Monticone Gioielli d’Epoca (Turin).
At the center: Center Anatolia, Star Ushak Carpet, second half of the 17th century, cm 440 x 265, courtesy of Mirco Cattai Fine Art & Antique Rugs (Milan).
Below, on the LH side: Claudio Rotta Loria, Studio di Equatore (Equator Study), 2001, watercolor, colored pencil, twine and plastic on A4 Fabriano, cm 21 x 29.7 x2, courtesy of White Lands (Turin). Followed by: Salvo, Alba (Dawn), 1985, oil on panel, cm 48.5 x 47, courtesy of Claudio Poleschi Arte Contemporanea (Dogana – RSM).

All art is contemporary…Episode #10

“Hic sunt pueri”

Here are the children in the works of Flashback 2020, Spread Edition. An edition that is being held in the galleries and on the web from November 3rd through next March 7th, titled Ludens, which is addressing those who can modify their surrounding world thanks to their own creativity.

We are starting with pencil work by Francesco Fontebasso, born in 1701, Studio per la testa di un fanciullo (recto), 1730 approx. characterized by his rich flickering trait. The Venetian artist was one of the greatest representatives of Venetian painting of the Rococo period.

This is followed by Ritratto di Luigi Archinto, 1824 approx., by Pelagio Palagi, oil on a 25 cm diameter panel, a portrait that hints at the first half of the 19th Century’s purism. Palagi was a prolific eclectic artist: painter, fresco painter, architect, interior designer, but also collector, antiquary and bibliophile.

Ecce Puer is the title of the unbelievable yellow wax sculpture by Medardo Rosso, of 1906 approx.: a small sculpture dedicated to the world of infancy, interpreted with an impressionist taste. The just outlined visage of a child emerges from an irregular fragmented surface, dissolving into the surrounding space. 

On the other hand, children with their parents are present in the works by Sartorio and Andreotti.

The beautiful, luminous canvas by Giulio Aristide Sartorio Mattinata sul mare of 1927 portraits the Spanish actress Marga Sevilla, Sartorio’s second marriage wife since1919, with their two very young children. The quiet family scene occurs in Fregene, where the family used to go in the early morning in summertime.

Finally Libero Andreotti with Maternitàof 1929, a small bas-relief in Istrian stone; the work shows the search for compactness in the sculptural mass. The obvious stylization of the shapes communicates the dimension of a large protective embrace. 

“I stopped believing in Santa Klaus when I was six. My mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked me for an autograph”
Shirley Temple

In the image, on the top Left /hand: Francesco Fontebasso, Studio per la testa di un fanciullo (recto), (Study for the head of a child – recto1730 approx.; Studio per la figura di San Leonardo (verso) (Study for the figure of Saint Leonard); black pencil (recto); pen and brown ink (verso), cm 35 x 25.8, courtesy of Maurizio Nobile (Bologna; Paris). Followed by: Pelagio Palagi, Ritratto di Luigi Archinto (Portrait of Luigi Archinto), 1824 approx., oil on panel, diameter cm 25, courtesy of Piacenti (London). Followed by: Medardo Rosso, Ecce Puer, 1906 approx., wax, cm 47 x 34 x 20 approx., courtesy of Galleria Russo (Rome). 
Below, on the LH side: Giulio Aristide Sartorio, Mattinata sul mare, (Morning at the seaside) 1927, oil on canvas, 91 x 202 cm, courtesy of Antonacci Lapiccirella Fine Art (Rome). Followed by: Libero Andreotti, Maternità (Motherhood), 1929, Istrian stone, cm 70 x 67, courtesy of Galleria Umberto Benappi (Turin).

All art is contemporary…Episode #9

“Orient and Orientalisms”

A short excursus amongst Flashback’s works at the search for Orient in all its shades. Works by Eastern artists, but also of Western ones who have either imitated or represented aspects of the Middle East and of Southern and Eastern Asia cultures. 

Starting from the East, the first element of investigation is the smokescreen that – as a support for actual works – has been rooted in ancient China since the 8th century B.C., to then spread throughout the rest of East Asia, in Europe and in other regions of the world. 

Amongst Flashback’s works, do we find the Six doors paneled screen in paper and silver leaf, coming from Japan and made in the Taisho Period (1911-1926) by artist Kashiu Hiroe, which is characterized by its rarefied content. On the other end, the Chinese Smokescreen, end of XVIII century / beginning XIX century, in rice paper with polychrome decoration, lingers on the detailed description. 

A second element of investigation is the representation of animals in the Eastern culture. The Bull in red earthenware and gold of Center-Eastern China, Hebei, Northern Qi Dynasty (549-577) and the Ningxia Carpet, China, 19th Century, intrigue for the symbology associated to the animals represented.

We then make a space leap and come back to Italy, namely in Piedmont, to observe the interpretation of the East by the West. In the mid-18th Century, did the Plastificatore piemontese develop a rare Coppia di Dignitari in abiti orientali, in cream-coloured stucco with golden decorations.  

Finally, painting with Jean Baptiste Eugene Napoleon Flandin, Galileo Chini and Filippo Mola.

Jean Baptiste Eugene Napoleon Flandin, orientalist, painter, archaeologist and explorer, a pioneer of archaeological design, provides us with many precious observations on the social life, administration and military organization of the Middle East. The work is La Moschea di Urfa of 1849.

Galileo Chini, born in Florence in 1873, provides his own interpretation of the Eastern mask, in particular, of Siam (today Thailand), with work Siamese mask, oil on panel of 1913-14 approx.

Finally, Filippo Mola, by Corteo indiano, develops a work that manages to transmit with mastery the choral collective dimension of the Eastern procession which was likely held in Rome close to Piazza del Popolo in 1900.

No snowflake ever fall into the wrong place
(Zen Proverb) 

In the image, on the top Left /hand: Jean Baptiste Eugene Napoleon Flandin, La moschea di Urfa (The Mosque of Urfa), 1849, oil on canvas, 73.2 x 100.4 cm, courtesy of Antonacci Lapiccirella Fine Art (Rome). Followed by: Hebei Center-East China, Painted pottery figure of Bull, Northern Qi Dynasty 549-547, terracotta with polychromy and gold, cm 43 x 16.5 x 38.3, courtesy of Schreiber Collezioni (Turin). Followed by: Late 18th/early 19th Century, Chinese smokescreen, rice paper with polychrome decoration, cm 190 x 350, courtesy of Galleria Arte Cesaro (Padua).
At the center: Filippo Mola, Corteo indiano (Indian procession), oil on canvas, cm 73 x 190.5, courtesy of Paolo Antonacci (Rome). Followed by: Galileo Chini, Siamese mask, 1913-14 approx., oil on panel, cm 60 x 47.5, courtesy of Galleria Carlo Virgilio (Rome; London).
Below, on the LH side: China, 19th Century, Ningxia Carpet, cm 198 x 132, courtesy of Mirco Cattai Fine Art & Antique Rugs (Milan). Followed by: Piedmontese Plasticizer, Rara coppia di Dignitari in abiti orientali (Rare pair of Dignitaries in Eastern Outfit),  mid-18th century, cream-colored stucco with golden decorations, height cm 74, courtesy of Secol-Art di Masoero (Turin).
Followed by: Kashiu Hiroe, Six doors paneled screen in paper and silver leaf, Taisho Period 1911-1926, L cm 376 H cm 170.5, courtesy of Gilistra Japanese Art (Turin).