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Alessandro Battaglia

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Alessandro Battaglia

( Roma 1870 - 1940 )


    Alessandro Battaglia

    He was born in Rome in 1870 into a family of artists: his mother Clelia, his uncle Roberto and his grandfather Augusto Bompiani were the first to introduce him to the study of painting. After this initial phase, he completed his training by studying under Ludovico Seitz and Cesare Maccari.

    He was very close to Michelotti’s verismo style and his chromatic skills were immediately recognised, so much so that he made his debut at a very young age, at only thirteen. In fact, at the 1883 Exhibition of Amateurs and Connoisseurs of Fine Arts he presented a Portrait of his sister, inaugurating a flourishing exhibition season at the Society, which lasted until 1928.

    At the 1887 Venice Exhibition he presented Egiziana con bambino (Egyptian Woman with Child) and at the 1892 Palermo Exhibition Spigolatrici (Gleaners). Genre paintings and scenes inspired by reality appeared until the end of the 19th century, when the artist also made some forays into Divisionist technique.

    At the National Exhibition of Fine Arts in Rome in 1893, he presented Faith, Martha, On the Apennines and The Last Gleanings, demonstrating that he had fully mastered the naturalistic vision of the 19th century, which was clearly visible in the painting Final Examinations exhibited in Turin in 1898 together with Autumn Afternoon. Having outgrown his predilection for genre scenes, he devoted himself above all to landscapes, which corresponded with his membership of the Society of Watercolourists in 1900.

    The Roman countryside, with all its Symbolist and Naturalist overtones, became one of the most prominent subjects in his work from the beginning of the 20th century onwards. At the 1901 Venice Biennial he presented the marvellous Mattino di primavera, inspired by D’Annunzio’s Sogno di un mattino di primavera.

    At the 1903 Biennale he sent Eleusine di Agra, and at the 1904 Naples Exhibition Fiori del dolore and Frutti immaturi. It was in the same year that he was one of the founders of the “XXV della Campagna Romana” group, in which he expressed all his adherence to the landscape and symbolic stylistic elements that also characterised In Arte Libertas, with which he exhibited between 1901 and 1902.

    He presented Vita primitiva at the 1905 Biennale and Il sospiro dell’anima at the 1909 Biennale, the same year he took part in the Rimini Exhibition. He exhibited seven works there, including Luisella, Breve riposo, Villa Borghese, Sole morente and Vecchio campanile. At the First Exhibition of the Roman Secession in 1913 he presented Lisetta and Fienile di Poggetello and shortly afterwards became a member of the Accademia di San Luca.

    These were the years in which he commuted between Rome and Anticoli Corrado, where he could devote himself entirely to studying the Roman countryside. Idols and Honeymoon appeared at the 1920 Venice Biennale. He did not take part in the Quadriennale in Rome, but was given a room at the Regional Exhibition of the Lazio Fascist Union, where he exhibited fifteen works including Nostalgia, Via Maioli – Anticoli Corrado, Casa paesana, Solitudine, Ulivi al Sole, Rito di secoli and La porta del molino.

    A collection of more than forty of his works was presented at the 1942 Syndicate exhibition, after his death in 1940. Among the works on display are Strada romana, Case di Carsoli, Aniene, Piazza delle ville (Anticoli Corrado), Trebbiatura ai colli, Oliveto, Paese al tramonto, Tempio di Vesta and Dopo la pioggia.


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