Massimo Campigli, Homage to Seurat

Massimo Campigli.  Homage to Seurat, 1954
Massimo Campigli. Homage to Seurat, 1954

Considered by many to be an absolute masterpiece, Homage to Seurat was created at the invitation of the organizers of the exhibition Homage to the Old Masters held in 1954 at the Galleria d'Arte Moderna in Milan.

Massimo Campigli decided to pay homage to Georges Seurat and his famous Un dimanche après-midi à l'Île de la Grande Jatte, a painting he admired and studied "with much love" throughout his career.

The Italian artist evokes the suspended, dreamy, almost metaphysical atmosphere of Seurat's work, but there are many distinctive elements that "sign" Campigli's independence from the French master: like the regular rhythm of the open umbrellas, the only horizontal counterpoint to the fixed verticality of the figures. The use of a light that knows no depth.

The chalky material, spread mostly with a spatula, is reserved in color. Campigli's all-female translation of Seurat's characters is an operation considered necessary by the artist to keep faith with his archetypal representation of an Eternal Feminine, immersed in an ageless, primitive and geometric world.

Massimo Campigli
(Berlin, 1895 - Saint-Tropez, 1971)

Homage to Seurat, 1954
Oil on canvas, 81 x 105 cm
Signed, dated and dedicated at bottom right: A Seurat / Campigli 54

Galleria Sianesi, Milan; Galleria Farsetti, Milan; Galleria d'Arte Zanini, Roma; private collection, Bergamo.


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