by Sandro Pintus

Telemaco Signorini, a retrospective exhibition
The paintings on display at the Pitti Palace

The retrospective exhibition of the work of Telemaco Signorini, which includes about one hundred and thirty paintings by the artist and is the largest to have been held up until now, will be open in the White Room of the Pitti Palace until this coming April 27th. An exhibition to celebrate one of the most important artistic figures of the last century that not only displays a series of paintings, drawings and etchings but also signed documentary material, the artist's collection of photographs and various historic publications. Sponsored by the City of Florence, the Florence, Pistoia and Prato Boards of Artistic Assets and the Gallery of Modern Art at Pitti Palace, with the collaboration of Artificio, this exhibition, which is extremely interesting for its size and variety, displays as much of Telemaco Signorini's work as it was possible to put together, much of it also thanks to loans from private collectors.

The cover page of the exhibition
For the first time we can in fact admire a large-scale exhibition of the work of the painter which, in five rooms, covers the various periods of his artistic life, including the masterpieces carried out between 1856 al 1890. The first section is dedicated to his youthful work and includes a group of paintings on the epic deeds of the Risorgimento like the "Battle of Solferino", as well as paintings dating from his early "Italian Impressionist" and "Castiglioncello and Piagentina" periods. The city views and landscapes include paintings of Siena and Ravenna as well as the work he carried out on his travels in France and England. The views of Edinburgh and Leith or a street in Bath perfectly illustrate the daily life of the times which was not apparently so very different from that in Italy. The section dedicated to "Florence and the Old Market" contains some really beautiful paintings as well as about ten etchings. Here we can find views of parts of the city that have long since disappeared, the ghetto, demolished when Florence became the capital of Italy, and brilliant and bustling scenes from daily life.

One of the photos in the exhibition: Telemaco Signorini can be seen in the centre with Giulio De Gori Pannilini and a friend
The section on the years of his maturity displays a portrait of Nene; the artist adopted this little girl as his daughter and carried out a great many drawings of her. The paintings of the Isle of Elba conclude the exhibition itinerary and include one of his finest and most famous works, the "Penal bath at Portoferraio", whose atmosphere gives an impression of a newspaper photograph, especially when compared to his other landscapes with their vast and calm views of the Isle of Elba. Florence - Pitti Palace, White Room February 8th / April 27th 1997 Exhibition opening hours: 10 a.m./7 p.m. Price of tickets L. 12.000/L. 10.000/L. 8.000 Reductions are available for schools For further information and bookings Tel. 055 215271/fax 055 280813

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