The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, March 24, 2019


Ponti Art Gallery presents Italian and European masterpieces from 18th century to 20th century
Enrico Castellani (Castelmassa 1930 – Celleno 2017), Red silver blue surface. Acrylic on paper relief cm 30 x 21,5 dated (‘15) and signed (E. Castellani) lower right. © Ottocento Art Gallery.


ROME.- Ponti Art Gallery is offering important masterpieces coming from several private collections. The selection starts from two watercolors, the first performed by C. Werner, the second realized by Achille Benouville. They present the same episode, probably taken from two different angles. The annotations and the date reported by the two painters lead back to a military exercise by the Papal Guard, which took place at the Campi d’Annibale near Monte Cavo, near Rocca di Papa, in September 1848. The soldiers depicted in the foreground presented classic uniform of the papal garrisons, distinguished by the cross sewn on the chest. Just this detail could be a further useful element to confirm the dating of the pair of watercolors: in fact, the representation of the military parade could date back to the first phase of the First War of Independence and the enthusiasm for Pius IX as a possible architect of the process of Italian unification.

The further important painting offered by Ponti Art Gallery is an oil by William Henry Haines, Ca’ d’Oro in Venice. To dominate the composition designed by the English painter is the facade of the Ca’ d’Oro which is characterized by the marked asymmetrical between the left side, in which three perforated strips are superimposed (portico for docking the boats on the ground floor and open spaces to the floors upper), and the right wing, where the masonry with precious marble prevails with single isolated square openings. Haines portrays with a ductus dense and material the only element that gives continuity to the facade, conditioning and dominating it, the large frame with the overlying crenellation, and the triple spiral columns that run along the edges of the façade.

The selection of the proposal continues with an oil by Giuseppe Cosenza. Painter of very bright sea views and made with great technique, for which he became famous, in this small painting you can see the ability of Cosenza to capture the light and bring it joyfully on the table enriching it with small details full of lyricism. The color palette is vibrant with warm tones and enveloped by a vague sense of melancholy: the extraordinary piece of filamentous and materic painting that animates the upper register of the composition, contrasts with the thoughtful figure of a young woman, reclining on an armchair by the harnesses golden, in her right hand a small bouquet of wildflowers, her gaze lost in the void, perhaps leaning toward chasing some amorous memories of youth. The small painting thus becomes a sublime representation of Πόθος, an allegory which, according to Greek literature, embodies the feeling of regret and the sense of nostalgia that one feels when a loved one is far away.

Another artist listed in the group of new proposals offered by Ponti Art Gallery is Giovanni Zangrando, author of painting Rest at the Cigale pinewood which shows the profile of a young woman stands out on the foreshortening, built with rapid brushstrokes and sublime touches of light, of the pinewood of Cigale, one of the symbols of Lošinj, Croatian island in the upper Adriatic.

The selection closes itself with three remarkable examples of Italian Art of the 20th century: three works by Mario Schifano, Enrico Castellani, Piero Dorazio. This last one is part of the American period of Dorazio, which characterized the definition of the poetry of the Roman artist: from 1960 to 1969 he taught at the School of Fine Arts of the University of Pennsylvania and other American universities, before return to Europe, to Berlin, where he teaches at the Deutsche Akademische Austanschdienst.
The group of artworks offered by Ponti Art Gallery contains also a painted ceramic by Federico Melis. History and legend come together in the iconographic repertoire created by the master of Bosa, who had the merit of identifying a vein then virgin and now very current, the Phoenician subject in Sardinian sculpture and to broadly expand the range of typological solutions of local female figures, adding, among others, to the gallery of pre-existing models, the sulcitana, the olianese and especially the woman of Ollolai on which marked his masterpiece of the Sardinian period, “The ancient Bride”, performed in 1930. Just this iconographic model can be in all likelihood, the profile of this woman is brought back with the classic red headdress, the shirt with the sleeves decorated with floral motifs and the wide skirt that recalls the carmine of the cap.





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