Among latest acquisitions, Ponti Art Gallery
offers a masterpiece by Giuseppe Ar, one of the most important Puglia painters active in Lucera along the first half of the 20th century. Giuseppe Ar was born in Lucera in 1898 from a family of humble origins and in the hours of freedom he started very early to study painting technique, demonstrating clear artistic talent. Simple and taciturn, with a mild character, he transfuses in his first paintings, with delicate and poetic tones, a personality of a provincial artist still looking for himself. After moving to Rome from 1925 to 1928, he expressed his artistic stature with more maturity with the study of drawing and perspective at the studio of Antonio Mancini. The first successes and the first exhibitions are coming: his first Roman solo exhibition is also visited by King Vittorio Emanuele III. In 1931, just two years after the date of execution of the painting presented here, he exhibited at the I Quadriennale darte in Rome.
The castle of Lucera is the protagonist of this painting by Giuseppe Ar, a painter of light who in the course of his life never detached himself from the Apulian village that gave him birth. This small table is a tribute to one of the most representative places of Lucera, caught in the warm light of the Dauno noon, accentuated by the profiles of the shadows drawn by the corner towers of the fortress. The castle stands on Mount Albano (250 meters), which dominates the vast Tavoliere plain, between the capital and the Apennine mountains. It stands on the primitive Rocca diomedea and subsequently the Latin Acropolis, in an ancient site, occupied since the Neolithic by pastoral huts, subsequently inhabited by populations of Dauni and Samnites, and in the latin bulwark of the Roman Lucera. Here in 1233, Frederick II, built his majestic Palatium, in a position to ensure a good defense. The building was built on the foundations of a ruined Romanesque Cathedral and from the architectural point of view was presented as a majestic tower with a quadrangular base (still visible), with three floors, with the external part of the courtyard and the internal part of the third floor octagonal: these features show similarities with those of Castel del Monte. The three floors contained 32 rooms that housed the court and the imperial apartments. The garrison chambers were located in the basement.