For fun, I thought I would list a trio of modern Italian painters of interest, provide wiki bios and links, and show a few examples of their work. Then, I'm going to spend the day with my precious little daughter, because as much as I love art and literature, it is the love of my wife and daughter that keeps me going every day. They are true treasures.
Here we go
Mario Mafai (12 February 1902 – 31 March 1965) was an Italian painter. With his wife Antonietta Raphaël he founded the modern art movement called the Scuola Romana, or Roman school.
Mafai left school very early, preferring to attend, with Scipione, the Scuola Libera del Nudo, or free school of the nude, of the Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma. His influences in those years were Roman galleries and museums, and the Fine Arts Library at Palazzo Venezia.
He met painter and sculptor Antonietta Raphaël in 1925, and they married. In 1927 Mafai exhibited for the first time, with a show of studies and maquettes organised by the Associazione Artistica Nazionale in Via Margutta. In 1928 he had a second exhibition, at the XCIV Mostra degli Amatori e Cultori di Belle Arti, as well as a collective with Scipione and other painters, at the Young Painters Convention of Palazzo Doria in 1929.
In November 1927, Mafai and Raphaël moved to 325 via Cavour in Rome, and made a studio there. Within a short time, it became a meeting point for writers such as Enrico Falqui, Giuseppe Ungaretti, Libero de Libero and Leonardo Sinisgalli, as well as the young artists Scipione and Renato Marino Mazzacurati.
A few paintings:
(b. 1904-d. 1981) was an Italian painter belonging to the modern movement of the Scuola Romana (Roman School). He was also a renowned photographer, who experimented with new techniques since the 1930s.
Son of Apulian landowners, Cavalli moved to Rome in 1921 and there he became a student of Italian painter Felice Carena, also attending the local art college. In 1926 he exhibited some paintings at the Biennale di Venezia, where he would continue to exhibit regularly.
From 1927 to 1930, Cavalli attended some expositions together with painters Giuseppe Capogrossi and Francesco Di Cocco, also travelling to France (1928), where he was introduced by his friend Onofrio Martinelli to the circle of Italiens de Paris (i.e., De Pisis, De Chirico, Savinio and others). He exhibited at the Salon Bovy of Paris with Fausto Pirandello and Di Cocco, then in 1930 returned to Rome where he joined the Scuola Romana.
In a series of exhibitions Cavalli held from 1931 to 1933, the artist began elaborating Tonalism, a pictorial and aesthetic style that will find in him one of its best and most refined interpreters, even from the theoretical point of view. In these exhibitions he received the support from important art critics and collectors, as well as from renowned Italian author Massimo Bontempelli, the uncle of his friend Corrado Cagli and the promoter of "Magic realism", a literary and artistic movement which had many similarities with tonalistic painting.
In 1933 Cavalli, together with Capogrossi and Melli wrote the "Manifesto del Primordialismo plastico" (Manifesto of Plastic Primordialism) defining the Tonalist Creed, with special emphasis on the style's spiritual and abstract side. In 1935 and 1943, Cavalli exhibited a group of paintings at the Quadriennale di Roma, developing the theme of painting-music relationships: he displayed a series of feminine figures of different tonalities, and explained this work within the terms of "contrapuntal sensitivity", comparing it to a "collection of preludes and fugues in major and minor tones".
Other important exhibitions were held by Cavalli at the Leonardo da Vinci Gallery of Florence in 1939 and at the Zodiaco of Rome in 1945, the latter crowned by the appointment as professor of Painting at Accademia di Belle Arti Firenze. He thus moved permanently to Florence with wife Vera Haberfeld. In 1949 Cavalli was affected by a deep crisis, increased by his professorship not being renewed and his close friends' change of style towards abstract art.
Cavalli continued to paint for the rest of his life, alternating it with photography and innovative imaging, receiving important commissions from public and private organisations.
A few paintings:
Carlo Carrà (February 11, 1881 – April 13, 1966) was an Italian painter, a leading figure of the Futurist movement that flourished in Italy during the beginning of the 20th century. In addition to his many paintings, he wrote a number of books concerning art. He taught for many years in the city of Milan.
Carrà was born in Quargnento, near Alessandria (Piedmont). At the age of 12 he left home in order to work as a mural decorator. n 1899-1900, Carrà was in Paris decorating pavilions at the Exposition Universelle, where he became acquainted with contemporary French art. He then spent a few months in London in contact with exiled Italian anarchists, and returned to Milan in 1901. In 1906, he enrolled at Brera Academy (Accademia di Brera) in the city, and studied under Cesare Tallone. In 1910 he signed, along with Umberto Boccioni, Luigi Russolo and Filippo Tommaso Marinetti the Manifesto of Futurist Painters, and began a phase of painting that became his most popular and influential.
Carrà's Futurist phase ended around the time World War I began. His work, while still using some Futurist concepts, began to deal more clearly with form and stillness, rather than motion and feeling. Carrà soon began creating still lifes in a style he, along with Giorgio de Chirico, called "metaphysical painting". Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, the metaphysical phase gave way to a sombre style akin to Masaccio's. An example from this period is his 1928 Morning by the Sea.
He is best known for his 1911 futurist work, The Funeral of the Anarchist Galli. Carrà was indeed an anarchist as a young man but, along with many other Futurists, later held more reactionary political views, becoming ultra-nationalist and irredentist before and during the war, as well as by Fascism after 1918 (in the 1930s, Carrà signed a manifesto in which called for support of the state ideology through art). The Strapaese group he joined, founded by Giorgio Morandi, was strongly influenced by fascism and responded to the neo-classical guidelines which had been set by the regime after 1937 (but was opposed to the ideological drive towards strong centralism).
He died in Milan in 1966.
A few paintings: