Italo De Grandi | Undated
Gouache on paper | 38.5 x 29.5 cm
Period 1929-1939: Juvenile Impetus
Imaginary | Still life | Landscape with architecture
Inventory IDG_516 | Private
collection Photo L'Atelier De Grandi
In this early work, Italo, strong of his profession of Chromo-lithographer, experienced in stone engraving of colours one by one and their successive superimposition effects, chose gouache precisely for its covering properties. Proof of this is his use of Cangiante, a Venetian Renaissance technique, which consists of creating volume effects by superimposing a clear hatched variation of the object's basic tone; here clearly visible on the leaves, the fruit and the rounded hill.
The clear contrast between earthy colours and airy tones reinforces the character's position in an idealized environment. The use of separate, adjacent or superimposed hatching and flat strokes further accentuates this contrast, in the manner of a Staccato in music.
A global light includes almost multi-directional, almost shadow-free lighting. In this imaginary portrait, everything is visible in broad daylight. The mystery does not lie in the shadows or the blurring of shapes: it emanates from this light that is as global as it is all-encompassing.
A steady hand and life ahead of you open up all the prospects that are invigorated by the advent of innovative artistic currents. This is the time of freedom and daring. Full-length portraits, allegories tinged with symbolism and futurism, depicting thoughtful, even ecstatic characters, celebrating cultivated nature, friendship and family, in a kind of mysticism of immanence.
Confronted, especially during their stay in Paris, with surrealism and other challenges to form and colour, Italo, like Vincent in a more dreamlike way, prefers to celebrate the reality of the world rather than engage in its deconstruction according to the concepts and aesthetics of modernity. On the contrary, he venerates reality and tries to define its mystery through an original and virtuous practice of painting, characteristics close to the New Objectivity, although in deliberately Latin forms, resurfacing from his passion for the Italian Renaissance.
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