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Giovanni Fattori (Livorno 1825 - Florence 1908)

Giovanni Fattori (Livorno 1825 – Florence 1908) received his early training in Livorno and then, from 1846, in Florence under the purist Giuseppe Bezzuoli. He spent the rest of his life in Florence, except for a few brief periods abroad, notably in Paris where he met Edouard Manet, forerunner of Impressionism.
His early work was strongly influenced by the style of the Accademia delle Belle Arti. At the beginning of the 1860s, however, with Il campo italiano dopo la battaglia di Magenta he embarked on a new phase, capturing events with greater vivacity and immediacy in a naturalism inspired by the ideals of the Risorgimento, which Fattori embraced with enthusiasm.
Over the decade Fattori progressively adopted the style of painting termed a macchie, based on patches of colour built up to create shapes. This technique gave its name to a group of painters, the Macchiaioli, of which Fattori was a leading member.
Throughout his life, his painting revealed a predilection for Tuscan scenes, portraits and images of people going about their daily lives, workers in the fields, military scenes during the War of Independence depicted devoid of all embellishment.
Works such as La rotonda di Palmieri, dated 1866, and Diego Martelli a Castiglioncello, dated 1866-70, occupy an important place in 19th-century art in Italy and abroad.  Fattori also produced numerous etchings, remarkable for the sharpness of the lines and strong contrast between light and shade.

Antonio Del Guercio