Alberto Pisa was born in Ferrara in 1864. He trained at the Scuola Civica d’Arte di Palazzo dei Diamanti and completed his studies at the Accademia di Firenze. After settling in the Tuscan city, he began to make a name for himself with a production of small landscapes and genre scenes that immediately met with the taste of the international market. This trend was reinforced after a stay in Paris in the mid 1880s. In 1886, he sent three works to the Florence exhibition: Piazza della Signoria, Woman and Madonna and Portrait.
Success in London: watercolour views, portraits and genre scenes
After his stay in Paris, Alberto Pisa moved to London, where he settled for over thirty years, launching a brilliant career in the field of genre painting and watercolour views of the city. From the 1990s onwards, he sent his English landscapes to Italian exhibitions in Venice, Florence and Bologna, where they met with excellent success from both the public and the critics.
Nocturne on the Thames, Twilight on Hampstead Heath, Interior of London Station and Thames at London Bridge were sent to the Florence Exhibition of 1899. Distinguished by a brilliant palette and a fluffy brushstroke, they describe London in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in minute detail and with a picturesque spirit, capturing its charm as an industrial city and as a fashionable capital. The painting Charing Cross was presented at the Venice Biennale in 1901.
Italian Views: from Rome to Ravello
The London views alternated with those inspired by the Amalfi Coast or Capri, as can be seen in the works he sent to the 1903 Biennale, Rustic cottage in Ravello and Church in Ravello, but he also frequently forayed into portraits and genre painting. In 1909 he took part in the National Exhibition in Rimini with some scenes, landscapes and portraits painted during a stay in Rome, including At villa Borghese, Chestnuts seller and Pinewood in Albano.
He returned to Italy in the 1920s and settled back in Florence. From then on, he worked mainly on graphics, an activity he had already begun in London, illustrating a number of books on Italian cities. Towards the end of the 1920s, he worked for Salani, devoting himself to the images accompanying several English novels. The illustrations for the volume Ferrara armoniosa also bear the signature of Alberto Pisa. Active until the end, he died in Florence in 1930. The Gallery of Modern Art houses Lying girl, Marianne.