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Filippo Palizzi

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Filippo Palizzi

( Vasto 1818 - 1899 )


    Filippo Palizzi

    Filippo Palizzi was born in Vasto in 1818. After starting to paint his first landscapes with figures, he joined his brother Giuseppe in Naples in 1837. He initially enrolled at the Reale Istituto di Belle Arti and attended Gabriele Smargiassi’s (1798-1882) lessons but, intolerant of the official academic environment, he decided to abandon the courses and enter the Scuola Libera of Giuseppe Bonolis (1800-1851). He began to specialise, like his brother, in studies from life of animals, gaining high positions in several competitions: in 1839 at the Bourbon Biennial he presented the painting Studies of Animals, thanks to which he won the silver medal and began to make a name for himself among collectors, and in fact was bought by the Duchess of Berry.

    He then became the protagonist of an analytical true-life painting depicting the highlights of rural everyday life, including traditional costumes, animals, shepherds and peasants, as can be seen in May, bought by King Francis I. He first embarked on a journey to Basilicata to study the customs of the local population, then in 1842 he decided to follow Prince Maronsiin to Moldavia and from there travel to the East, reaching Istanbul and Valletta. This adventure was extremely important to Philip, for he kept several notebooks with sketches of his travel impressions and portraits of the members of the nobility he was following.

    He returned to Italy in 1844, when his brother Joseph was about to leave for France: it was from this point onwards that the two kept in touch through a dense correspondence that enabled both of them to develop their own style by exchanging experiences and the new things they had learned. He travelled to Cava dei Tirreni every summer in the late 1940s. Here he constantly practised studies from life of the surrounding countryside, increasingly refining his simple but precise and meticulous style. In the meantime, he took part in the revolutionary climate of the ’48 uprisings, also producing the Portrait of Garibaldi on Horseback.

    Giuseppe’s return in 1854 allowed Filippo to catch up on the progress of French painting and in particular of the Barbizon School, which is the reason why he decided to undertake a trip to Paris in 1855 and visit the Exposition Universelle. The innovations he learnt on the trip and from his brother soon made their way into his painting in the form of research into the modulation of light and colour, in a looser adherence to reality.

    While continuing along the path of analytical narrative, the atmospheric study of light and true naturalistic intuition emerge from the key paintings of Palizzi’s career, such as Lavandaie di Sarno and Dopo il diluvio, a famous masterpiece commissioned by King Vittorio Emanuele, the result of extensive studies over the years. Over the years, Palizzi’s studies of life became increasingly refined, making his painting, together with those of his brother, the progenitor of realism – not only in southern Italy, but also in Tuscany.

    In 1878, he contributed to the creation of the Museo Artistico Industriale (Industrial Artistic Museum), of which he became the director in 1880: this position mainly required him to formulate innovative programmes based on modern, realist painting, also in the decoration of ceramics, of which he had been a skilled connoisseur since his training in Vasto.

    His paintings, sketches, engravings and the rest of his important production can be found in private and public collections both in Italy and abroad. In 1892, when he was already an elderly man, Palizzi himself donated three hundred studies to the National Gallery in Rome, also designing their arrangement on the walls, of which we have evidence from a drawing conserved in the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Naples. To the latter, he donated another series of works, as well as to the Museo Civico in Vasto, his home town. He died in Naples in 1899.

    Elena Lago


    acquisto opere artisti e stima pittura e scultura

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