Vittorio Bussolino was born in Turin in 1853 and trained at the Accademia Albertina, where he was a pupil of Antonio Fontanesi. He specialised in landscape painting, picking up every lyrical detail and every luministic and atmospheric nuance of the master’s naturalism. His collector and, initially, also his imitator, he was for a long time confused with Fontanesi himself or little considered due to a certain thematic and stylistic repetitiveness.
Lyrical naturalism: Antonio Fontanesi’s legacy
Always animated by an emotive language and an idyllic intonation, Vittorio Bussolino was constantly inspired by the French elegiac realism of the Barbizon School, right from his debut at the Promotrice in Turin in 1872, where he exhibited the watercolour Woodland. He continued to exhibit regularly at the exhibition for many more years, until 1913, and then exhibited at the Circolo degli Artisti in Turin until 1920, two years before his death.
The painter’s production is thus marked by a regular and long-lasting exhibition activity in his native Turin, remaining faithful for a long time to the modes of Piedmontese landscape painting of the second half of the 19th century, even well into the 20th century, continuing almost mechanically to propose themes and languages also linked to the Rivara School.
A long exhibition activity in Turin
In 1880, Vittorio Bussolino took part in the National Exhibition in Turin, presenting some of his most moving and significant works: Morning, Mere Countryside, Forest and Farmhouse, in which he displayed a marked lyrical vein combined with an evocative attention to variations in light and atmosphere, depending on the time of day or year.
In 1883, he sent a Landscape to the National Exhibition of Fine Arts in Rome, while in 1887 he took part in the National Exhibition in Venice with Towards Evening, a painting that fully confirmed his manner, defined as follows in the Comanducci dictionary: “He was a landscape painter of imagination and sensitivity, of elegant and careful composition, low in tone and colour”.
This tonal delicacy is seen right up to his maturity, in the landscapes of the 1890s such as Low countryside, Banks ofe the Stura and The meadow, at the 1890 Promotrice in Turin, and in Banks of the river Po and Memory of Venice which appeared at the 1898 National Exhibition in Turin. Active until his last years, he died in 1922 at the age of sixty-nine.