(Berlin 1895–1971 St. Tropez) Quattro figure con ombrellino, signed and dated Campigli 53, oil on canvas, 52 x 48 cm, framed, (PP)
Photo certificate: Nicola Campigli, Saint Tropez, 3.10.2011, archive no. 558361254
Provenance: Galleria d’Arte del Naviglio, Milan (label verso); Galleria del Milione, Milan (stamp verso); Galleria Bergamini (stamp verso); Private Collection, Italy
The ladies depicted with umbrellas and hats in this painting produced in 1953, ‘Quattro figure con ombrellino’ are the visual motif which Massimo Campigli discovered in the 1920s and would preoccupy him until the end of his life. Three female figures, whose bodies are represented in a strongly geometrical and predominantly flat manner, look out of the image towards the front, whilst the fourth lady - placed further in the background – turns her back to the viewer. The symmetrically structured composition is dominated by the colour blue. The flat nature of the image is emphasised by the narrow balcony on which the women stand with its balustrade parallel to the picture plane. Characterised by effects drawn from ancient Egyptian art, which Campigli saw on his visits to the Louvre in Paris, and in its examination of Etruscan painting, the female figure was of great significance throughout the entire oeuvre of the Italian artist. “Why am I not satisfied with the truth in my quest, but instead strive for the object in its entirety, which I would like to paint ad infinitum (…). I have been looking for the ultimate formula for painting a face, and I won’t stop looking for it.’ (Exh. cat., Italienische Kunst 1900-1980, Milan, 1985, page 74)
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