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Alberto Ziveri (Rome 1908 - Rome 1990)

Alberto Ziveri (Rome 1908-90), after attending the Liceo Artistico and the San Giacomo evening school for the ornamental arts between 1921 and 1929, was encouraged to follow his pictorial bent by a painter of no mean ability, Guglielmo Janni, who deserves to be reassessed today.
In 1928 Janni gave him a copy of the book on Piero della Francesca that Roberto Longhi had published the year before. Ziveri was profoundly influenced by this and after stays in Parma, the city of origin of his family, where he studied Mantegna, Parmigianino and Correggio, he began to develop his own mature art.
He chose the path of tonalism, which in fact links, albeit with very large variations, no less than three generations of Italian artists. Both because he belonged to a generation that appeared after the historical avant-gardes and in view of his deep figurative-realistic inclination, Ziveri was extraneous to the cultural revision that led to the various “returns to order”. At the same time a robust lower-class quality guided this painter towards concrete daily scenes of crowded markets, corners of plebeian Rome and waiting rooms in brothels.
While it is true that Ziveri’s painting falls within the vast category of tonalism, it is rich, full-bodied and intimately luminous, even in the night scenes, and with a solidly constructed spatial structure; it is nonetheless marked by an originality with respect to other examples of the same expressive line.


Antonio Del Guercio