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Anselmo Bucci

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Anselmo Bucci

( Fossombrone 1887 – Monza 1955 )


    Anselmo Bucci

    Observing Anselmo Bucci’s life and artistic career, the figure of a painter in constant movement takes shape, always on the move, curious and attentive, a multifaceted artist who crosses and moves freely between currents and trends, escaping definitions that could harness him.

    Trained at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts, where he studied with Bignami, Mentessi and Tallone, the young Bucci had the opportunity to meet and frequent Carlo Erba, Carlo Carrà, Romolo Romani and Leonardo Dudreville, with whom he shared studies and a lasting friendship.

    After discovering international painting in the pages of Emporium, he followed up his desire to broaden his knowledge by embarking on a trip to Paris in 1906 with Dudreville and the critic Bugelli, where he would stay until 1914, taking an interest in the movement of modern life. He himself wrote to Boccioni with irony that the years he spent studying the movement earned him the title of ‘pre-Futurist’ (Pontiggia 1993, p.23).

    In the ville lumiere he met Severini, Modigliani, Viani and, later, Picasso, Apollinaire, Dufy and Utrillo. In 1909, he produced a series of engravings entitled Paris qui buge, a collection of views from above of squares, streets, markets, marked by a dynamic and incisive sign that reveal Bucci’s attention to what was to become a recurring motif in all his painting: the tranche de vie.

    An interest that would lead him to produce, in these years, some of his best-known views of crowds in motion. In Mercato a Monza (the city he settled in on his return from Paris), the echoes of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painting, evident in the construction of the image and in the subject matter, are skilfully fused with the strength of Veneto colour, admired in his adolescent years, and with the intensity of light absorbed during his travels in the Mediterranean.

    The figures are rendered with dabs of colour, quick, compendious brushstrokes that build movement and the whole scene. Bucci has the ability to describe the teeming life with just a few touches, restoring the vibrant atmosphere of the market. He himself uses the term ‘vibrism’ to describe the essence of modern life (Pontiggia 2003, p.22).

    His interest in scenes of lived life led the painter, in 1915, to enlist as a volunteer with the Futurists in the Battaglione Ciclisti. Bucci sent numerous sketches, drawings and paintings from the front that give us an image of war without rhetoric, also in movement, by definition.

    Margherita Sarfatti, with whom he was to be one of the founders of the Novecento Italiano group in the 1920s, wrote about him, describing him as one of the most “brilliant improvisers of the broken line and impressionistic palette” (Pontiggia 2003, p. 150).


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