Skip to Content

Cesare Maggi (Rome 1881 - Turin 1961)

Cesare Maggi was born in Rome in 1881; both of his parents were actors, and he studied in Florence under the guidance of Vittorio Corcos. From 1897 he was in Naples and frequented Gaetano Esposito’s studio, but his work was first exhibited in Florence in 1898 on the occasion of the 52nd Exhibition of the Società di Belle Arti. In the same year he moved to Paris where he attended the Fernand Cormon Academy. On returning to Italy in 1899 he went to Milan to visit the commemorative exhibition of the work of Giovanni Segantini, whose radiant paintings were a real revelation to him, so much so that in the same year he moved to Engadina where Segantini had worked for many years in complete isolation. The young artist wanted to discover in situ the magic of the hard light that the rarified high mountain air rendered more sharply. In 1900 he signed an exclusive contract with Alberto Grubicy, which marked his full participation in Divisionism. His first personal exhibition was in 1901 in the Palazzo delle Belle Arti in Milan as part of a collection of Divisionist painters organized by Grubicy. In 1904 he moved to La Thuile in Val d’Aosta to study light in greater detail. In 1907 he exhibited in Paris at the Salon des peintres divisionnistes italiens. His success in Paris led to him being invited to exhibit at the Venice Biennale which marked the turning point in his career. From that time on, he received acknowledgements and invitations to important international exhibitions, in Munich, Rome, and to the Venice Biennale again where he was assigned his own exhibition room in 1912. In 1913 he left La Thuile and settled permanently in Turin. He abandoned Divisionism and returned to a style of painting closer to that of Giacomo Grosso, his previous teacher. In 1939 he was present at the Premio Bergamo, in 1947 he was appointed academician at the San Luca Academy. He died in Turin in 1961.

Augusta Monferini