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Armando Spadini, Piccoli pescatori o Tobiolo
Material and technique
oil on canvas
109 x 79 cm
Augusta Monferini
Armando Spadini is considered to be the artist closest to French Impressionism, but his work nonetheless reflects the mental adjustment that stemmed his sensuality and emotional exuberance.  His later works, such as the present one, reveal how he listened to ‘the voice of things’ in order to capture their resonant fullness.
The subject is biblical, but the artist does not appear to evoke the holy nature of the theme and he depicts the episode from his habitual emotional and familiar point of view, interpreting the angel and young fisher-boy as two children at play. The angel is portrayed as a young girl, affectionately resting her right hand on young Tobiolo’s shoulder. Tobiolo looks at her with a questioning expression, clutching the fish in both hands.
The two figures are depicted looking straight ahead, against a landscape enlivened by trees and thick bushes.  In the distance, high on the horizon, are some houses and the soft grey impasto sky frames the angel’s head. The paint is thickly applied and reflects the light shining from above, illuminating a series of shifting greys of rich substance. The figure of Tobiolo is built of earthy tones: the orange-brown of his jacket is picked up in the deeper brown of his hair, while his expression is softened by the luminous rosy colour of his skin. “I hate sunburnt flesh,” wrote Spadini in 1924. “Skin should always be bright, the colour of mixed roses and delicate white flowers with a few cool tones ranging from rose to tea rose and a faint bluish tint...” This statement is illustrated by the figures depicted here.
Piccoli pescatori o Tobiolo
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