Eugenio Bonivento was born in Chioggia in 1880. He attended the Venice Academy of Fine Arts and immediately specialised in the landscape genre, inspired by the open, clear luminosity of 18th-century Venetian views. He soon joined the studio of Guglielmo Ciardi, who took him under his wing and passed on to him his lyrical, realistic and chromatically synthetic vision of the landscape.
The landscape of the Venetian lagoon: lyricism and luminosity
Adopting a language made up of full and sometimes material colourism, enhanced by a lively and exciting brilliance, Eugenio Bonivento made his debut in Turin at the end of the nineteenth century with Lagoon, and then took part in the Milan Exhibition for the Simplon Tunnel in 1906 with the two evocative views Quiet time and Sad winter day – Chioggia.
The sensitivity of the painter from Chioggia was not only revealed in the landscape genre, but also in the narration of the everyday life of the inhabitants of the lagoon, fishermen, sailors, lacemakers, girls and boys from humble backgrounds who animate his evocative and luminous views of the island.
In 1911, he took part in the International Exhibition in Rome with After Vespers, a painting modulated on an emotional chromaticism and intimate, poetic notes, in which the brushstroke is condensed and rapid. The following year, Eugenio Bonivento took part in the Venice Biennial for the first time, presenting Eremitage, which won him considerable critical acclaim and allowed him to take part in a solo exhibition in Rosario, Argentina, where he exhibited his nostalgic Return.
In 1917 he participated in the Esposizione delle Tre Venezie with his solitary and lyrical Fishermen’s House, while after the war he exhibited again at the 1920 Venice Biennale with First Flowers. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, the painter continued to take part in the Venice Biennale and local exhibitions, carrying on his compendiary language in which full-bodied colour and light combine in intense, melancholic compositions with intensely evocative notes that bring out a seafaring and rural world that is both modest and idyllic. Examples of this are the works exhibited at the Regional Art Exhibition in Treviso in 1921, Chatting and Abandonment. Quiete appeared at the Venice Biennale in 1922 and Vesper at the 1924 Biennale. Also worthy of note are Street of Chioggia, Golden reflections, Evening and Rest, also dating from the 1920s.