Giuseppe Cominetti

(Salasco 1882 - Roma 1930)

Portrait of Georges Cain (1917)

Measures: 52 x 38 cm

Technique: oil on canvas

Signed and dated lower right: “à l’ami Georges Cain. G. Cominetti 1917”

Provenance: France market (donated by the author to the great-grandfather of the owner)

One of the most important representatives of Ligurian Divisionism in the early 20th century, Giuseppe Cominetti, an artist active between Genoa, Paris and Rome, developed a chromatic language crossed with social, humanitarian and symbolist components. 1909, the year of his move from Genoa to Paris, marked the painter’s definitive maturation towards a confident Divisionism made up of a filamentary flow that was then nourished by inevitable Fauve vibrations and also revealed influences from Futurism, to which he adhered in the early stages. The meditation on the great pointillist painters, Segantini and Previati, visible above all in the paintings of his Ligurian youth, then dissolves into a personal re-modulation in which light and atmosphere are united through vigorous ripples of divided colour made up of sudden brightness and softer tones.

Especially in the portraits, Cominetti combines painterly gesture with psychological intensity: in the one dedicated to his French friend Georges Cain, the dynamic density of the atmosphere, as well as the face, are constructed by a weave of fast, oblique brushstrokes, in a Divisionism that has been defined as “gestural” and that can also be seen in contemporary works, including the crucial and iconic cycle of War Drawings.

Elena Lago



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