All art is contemporary…Episode #10

11 February 2021

“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).