Angelo Dall’Oca Bianca was born in Verona on 31st March 1858 and died in the city on 18th May 1942. The son of a painter, he dropped out of primary school due to the financial difficulties of his family. A few years later he worked as a labourer and resumed his studies as an autodidact.
His precocious artistic inclination soon led him to draw and paint. From 1874 he attended the Accademia Cignaroli, thanks to the sculptor Ugo Zannoni, who noticed his qualities. In the following years he was also at the Accademia di Venezia where he met and frequented Giacomo Favretto. In 1880 he was present at the Esposizione Autunnale di Brera and in 1881 at the Esposizione Nazionale di Milano.
From this time on he spent long periods in Rome, where he approached the world of Cronaca Byzantina, which included Francesco Paolo Michetti and Gabriele D’Annunzio. It was probably his contact with Michetti that led him to take an interest in photography, an instrument that for him was preparatory to painting. He took part in more and more exhibitions and in the last years of the century he also took part in the Venice Biennale.
Having achieved fame and being acclaimed by the main critics of the time, including Vittorio Pica and Michele Biancale, he gradually moved away from all official occasions, becoming increasingly interested in the social and urban problems of Verona, to which he donated his legacy.
He is a genre painter who uses the lesson of Verism, mediated through Favretto, to approach the most minute and local reality with a lively and harmoniously balanced palette. The main subjects are the hidden corners of Verona and the exaltation of the eternal feminine.
Another theme that recurs frequently in his work is Lake Garda, portrayed at different times of the year and in different weather conditions. With the arrival of the new century, the artist adopted the innovations of Divisionism and Symbolism, to which he mainly adhered in his formal values. From around 1910 onwards, the development of his personal style became mature and has remained largely unchanged ever since.
Among his very first works is Portrait of the Father (1873), a work executed without any training. Le due orfanelle (1877) was completed immediately after his academic studies and shows the declination of pietism towards the less intense tones of the sketch without any social commitment. Lattivendolo, Lavatoio and Sotto zero, presented at the Milan National Exhibition, date from about 1880.
In 1884 he was at the National Exhibition in Turin with Viatico (Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Milan) and Colto in flagrante (Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome). In 1886 with Ave Maria (Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Milan) he won the Principe Umberto prize. His Symbolist works include L’educazione politica (1900), Stella mattutina, Medusa and Paolo e Francesca. His more mature works include Piazza delle Erbe, Ombre e luci primaverili and Poesia notturna.
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