The man in the hat

Italo De Grandi | Undated
Tempera on wood | 41 x 27.5 cm
Period 1929-1939: Juvenile Impetus
Imaginary | Portrait
Inventory IDG-755 | Private
Collection Photo L'Atelier De Grandi

 

Artistic features

Subject:

Enigmatic premonitory self-portrait

This portrait, painted in the 1940s, when Italo was not yet thirty years old, turned out later to resemble him strongly, once he was in his sixties.
It then appears as a premonitory self-portrait, since it seems to come from a kind of subconscious anticipation.
Moreover, the character represented, because of the intensity of the gaze that reaches far beyond the spectator, remains enigmatic. He seems to be asking a thousand existential questions and answering them simply with age-old earthly wisdom.

Composition:

Central figure | Geometric stylization

The central figure in the foreground is superimposed on the hills in the background. The relatively low horizon magnifies the portrait by projecting it into the sky.
The large oval, in which the face is surmounted by the hat, reinforces the importance of this headgear, whose excessiveness evokes the wisdom of the figure.
The fact that the central point of the painting is almost between the two eyes of the figure makes his gaze unavoidable.

Medium:

Tempera on wood

This is egg tempera: colour pigments are added to egg yolk, forming semi-covering colours.

Pallet:

Man in a Hat 10 Colour Palette
Dominant: 9795161

The choice of colours dominating the character, his face, lips, hat and jacket, is the same as that of the colours of the landscape in the background: he is indeed a man of the earth, and even of fire, even in his speech, although he remains mute.

Background

Period:

1929-1939 : Juvenile Impetus

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.

Related artists:

Piero Della Francesca

The character's gaze recalls that of Christ in The Resurrection(fresco of 1465, Museo Civico, San Sepolcro Italy, 225 x 200 cm).

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The man in the hat

Italo: The Man in the Hat