Lega Silvestro, La Pergola, 1868 Milan, Pinacoteca di Brera © Archives Alinari, Florence

The Macchiaioli – Italian Impressionists?

Apr 9, 2013 - Jul 22, 2013

The Macchiaioli were a group of rebellious artists working in Florence in the mid 1850s, mainly from Tuscany, but also from other parts of the country from Venice to Naples. Who were these Macchiaioli with their untranslatable nickname? “Tachistes”, from the French term for “stain” or “blot”, was a pejorative label that appeared in the press in 1862 and which they then adopted. They brought a breath of fresh air into Italian painting, breaking away from the prevailing Neoclassicism and Romanticism, and reviving Italy’s pictorial culture. They were regarded as the initiators of modern Italian painting.

The Musée d’Orsay, in its desire to show the widespread influence of painting in the second half of the 19th century, felt it should bring to the attention of the French public to one of the most poetic movements of this period, very similar to the visual experiments of the Impressionist artists. This painting had a crucial influence on Italian film directors like Luchino Visconti and Mauro Bolognini, who found in it an iconographic inspiration and an idiom specific to the image.

Musée de l’Orangerie

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