IPPOLITO CAFFI 1809-1866. Between Venice and the East
A life that flows like a novel, between art and political passion. 150 years after the death of Ippolito Caffi and annexation of Venice and the Veneto to Italy, a major exhibition celebrating the most innovative of the nineteenth century landscape artist, visionary and a patriot. For the first time in fifty years, exposed to the entire collection of over 150 paintings donated by his widow to the city.
150 years ago during the Battle of Lissa, Ippolito Caffi (1809 1866) born in Belluno and Venetian elective, extraordinary painter-reporter, restless observer of society and convinced patriot, died in the sinking of the "King of Italy" where he had embarked to witness, with its fast and accurate drawings, armed conflicts. 150 years ago (almost a sign of destiny!) The Veneto and Venice - the city that Caffi enjoyed most loved and portraiture and for whose freedom he fought - are annexed to Italy.
Venice Caffi loves the unusual symbiosis of stone and water that composes; I love the fog, the shimmering effects of light which is reflected in its canals and translates into painting haunting beauty, with a capacity for synthesis that has no equal in the whole century. It is in this coincidence of anniversaries which the impressive background of paintings by Ippolito Caffi of Venice Civic Museums Foundation is fully exposed, at fifty years away, in a major exhibition that is a tribute to the artist: undoubtedly the most modern and original Italian nineteenth century landscape painter, unsurpassed by immortalizing with his light painting the soul of places and peoples encountered in many trips in Italy, in Europe and in the Mediterranean.
An unexplored and amazing treasure as a whole, that finally emerges: a pictorial group of over 150 works donated to the City of Venice in 1889 by the widow of Caffi, Virginia Missana, that on that occasion also gives many loose drawings and twenty-three albums. The paintings of Caffi - normally stored in Ca'Pesaro deposits and which is now accomplished the first catalog raisonné published by Marsilio - give testimony of all cities and regions visited by Ippolito and are the most comprehensive collection of artistic career a nineteenth-century painter, who was a tireless traveler for personal restlessness and desire for knowledge. They were the places of his travel choice, as in the case of the Near East but also in Rome and Naples, or were goals to which was forced by his own patriotic militancy, he has left us an artistically alive and vital, but also socially unpublished, of which you can now see the absolute uniqueness.
Edited by Annalisa Scarpa.
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