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Baldassare Longoni (Dizzasco d'Intelvi 1876 - Milan 1956)

Baldassarre Longoni was born in Dizzasco d’Intelvi (near  Como) in 1876 and he died in Milan in 1956. He belonged to the generation of Divisionists after Grubicy, Segantini, Previati, Morbelli and his homonym, Emilio Longoni, all born around the 1850s. The new wave was formed in the 1890s when Divisionism was already common and no longer a leading movement. It was based on the Lombard and Piedmont masters of 19th century art at the Accademia di Brera, where echoes of the Secessioni of northern Europe were felt. Although his references were Segantini, Previati and then Nomellini, the luminosity he achieved with his pointilllist technique was less vibrant. His artistic preference was for landscapes and he often made use of them as backdrops for his figures. His landscapes were inhabited by animals and country folk intent on their work. These country scenes are portrayed with truthfulness and an understanding of rural life and work. Nature in its friendly and everyday aspects recounts the changing of the seasons through work, nature is warm and affectionate but there are no romantic or mysterious aspects. A typical characteristic of these landscapes is the absence of any reference to or sign of industrial civilization. His horizon is composed of the fields and countryside that he saw every day as he came out of his house or that were very near to home; the figures he painted were also chosen from the small group of his close family. F. Maratea, a critic who followed his work, defined the artist as “a painter of the sky and the clouds, at the same time lyrical and mystical. He was a painter who loved distant transparencies playing on air and light, using  deeper and greyer tones as well, including within closed spaces, almost displaying a need to heighten, to lighten the very substance of the nature of things while never altering reality in the drawing or the space represented”. He was always a loner and for decades remained closed in an impenetrable isolation so that his fame was limited to his local area. He did however exhibit often: he held personal exhibitions in 1912 in Como and then in 1921, but his most frequent exhibitions were at the Permanente in Milan and at the Venice Biennale (1903,1905, 1909, 1910, 1914 and 1922) and in the Esposizioni Nazionali di Belle Arti in Milan and Turin.

Augusta Monferini