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Querci Dario

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Querci Dario

( Messina 1831 - Roma 1918 )


    Querci Dario

    From a young age he showed a great inclination to painting, since it is known of him, how little more than ten years old he stole the brushes from the painter Antonino Bonanno, who was a teacher of his brothers, and with the help of a mirror he made his own portrait. After all, he learned the first rudiments of drawing at the school of N. Miller. In 1848 he was an artillery designer and fought bravely in the memorable days of September, and then with allegorical paintings against the Bourbons and displayed in the public streets, he kept alive the sentiment of the homeland redemption.

    In 1851, he entered the school of the Messina painter Michele Panebianco and painted a picture representing “Matteo Palizzi” which was bought by the banker Grill. In 1854, with Panebianco he went to Rome, where with the small subsidy of Lire 255 granted to him by the Municipality of Messina and with some other hundred Lire accumulated from the earnings of his works, he lived modestly, contracting the friendship of many illustrious painters, including Cornelius, who said of him: “He begins well where we end.”

    There are many works of Querci, which I quote below: “Federigo d’Aragona who distributes bread to the poor during the siege of Messina by Charles of Anjou”, and which was bought by the banker Pietro Vitale; “The Angiolo delle tombe”, which he donated to Eng. Leone Savoya; “Luna e Perollo”, exhibited in 1861 in Florence and which was praised by Pietro Selvatico in his work ‘Arte e Artisti’; “The rest in Egypt”, made for the Cathedral of Ragusa in Sicily; “Fausto e Margherita”, purchased by the banker Teodoro Rabb, of whom he made two more copies for commissions from London and California; “Il Saraceno di Messina” for the same Mr. Rabb.

    Both of these paintings were very popular, and the first at the Palermo Exhibition in 1864 had the honor of being chosen from among 200 paintings, and reproduced with engraving; “Dante and Beatrice”, made on behalf of the Government in Florence and where the painter Querci lived for a year; “Cola da Rienzi and the Roman barons”, which was much praised and also visited by HRH Prince Umberto, now King of Italy, and which appeared engraved in ‘artistic Rome’, but which is part of the gallery of Signor Garnée in New- York; “Cola da Rienzi speaking to the people in San Giorgio in Velabro”, awarded a medal in Vienna in 1873; the “Coat of arms of the Orsini” and “The dimane of a battle” commissioned and purchased by Prince Orsini; “The Baron of Hubner, Austrian ambassador who goes on the gala train, in 1860, to hand over his credentials to Pius IX”.

    This painting, made by order of the baron himself, was kept by Pius IX on display for five days in the Vatican, so that the whole college of cardinals could see it; “An episode from Baron de Hubner’s trip to Japan”; “The portraits of the LL. MM.” made on behalf of the Municipality of Messina after the death of S. M. the king Vittorio Emanuele II; “Mazzini in Campidoglio” owned by Eng. Luigi Orlando; “Garibaldi’s entry into Palermo” also for the appointment of Eng. Orlando and where the two Orlando brothers are represented, called Paolo and Giuseppe, who belonged to the heroic phalanx of the Thousand.

    This work, reputed to be one of the best, was reproduced in the newspapers ‘l’Arte in Italia’ and ‘L’Illustrazione Italiana’ by Treves; “Two paintings for a chapel”, in Mexico; “A genre picture” in Chilì; “A Juliet and Romeo” in London and finally many “Portraits”, of which a good part are abroad, mainly in Constantinople and Vienna.


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