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Ponti Art Gallery presents Italian and European masterpieces from 18th century to 20th century
Giulio Aristide Sartorio (Rome 1860 – 1932), The Mestizos. Oil on canvas glued on panel cm 37 x 49 signed (G. A. Sartorio) and dated (MCMXXIV), located (Haiti) and entitled lower right © Ottocento Art Gallery.

ROME.- Ponti Art Gallery is offering important masterpieces coming from several private collections. The selection starts from a masterpiece by Giulio Aristide Sartorio, The Mestizos. The painting presented by the Roman gallery represents an extraordinary document: it conveys, in fact, all the emotion aroused in the painter’s palette from the encounter with the mestizo populations of Haiti, the Caribbean country touched by the Italia ship on 10 September 1924. The depiction of the small indigenous inhabitants of the Central American area involved in a playful moment with an ape and given with authentic shots of pure light, represents one of the most lyrical pictorial tests performed by Sartorio during the entire duration of the cruise Italian, testimony to the fascination exerted by exotic atmospheres on the art of the great Roman painter.

The further important paintings offered by Ponti Art Gallery are a couple of watercolours by Enrico Coleman, among them it is remarkable an unconventional subject respect to the themes and subjects dear to the painter’s palette: a trip to the lake, probably that of Nemi, already represented by the painter in an extraordinary oil of 1907, now preserved in the Gallery municipal modern art of Rome. The gallant scene consists of five figures, three masculine – the silhouettes of sailors are delightful – and two female – executed with rapidity of execution but with unparalleled efficacy – about to set sail from the shores of Lake Nemi on the Adele boat, whose name it stands out on the wood of the boat on which the shadows of the trees in the foreground are projected.

The selection of the proposal continues with a couple of terracotta sculptures by Domenico Pagano. Central in Sicilian artist’s work is the intensity of human emotion, without neglecting a precise description of the hairstyles, the jewels, the accessories worn by the characters taken from the Arab world, protagonists of his multi-material plastic that earned him sales success in Europe and in America. It is the case, for example, of this pair of busts of Berbers, shining testimonies of an exoticism that was becoming established in the art of the second half of the nineteenth century, studied with skillful skill by Pagano in the choice of details that enhance the richness of composition and formal construction. With the rediscovery of this pair of extraordinary busts made of Pagano terracotta, he emerges as an eminent ethnographic sculptor whose work reflects a keen interest in the East, its culture, its traditions and its iconography.

The selection of first 20th century artworks closes itself with three remarkable examples of the high quality got by the Italian art of that period a couple of still lives by Galileo Chini and a female portrait by Gino Parin. This last one depicts Fanny Lackenbacher, wife of the Jewish engineer Moise Mario Tedeschi, protagonist of a very large number of drawings and oils by the artist, starting from 1911 and until the premature death of the woman, which took place in 1927. Daughter of a Hungarian-born official of the Adriatic Meeting of Sicurtà, Ernesto Lackenbacher, and Rachele Morpurgo, Fanny was born in Trieste on 25 July 1879. Relations between the Lackenbacher family and the city’s artistic environment were frequent. Fanny adhered to the initiative promoted by Wostry in 1907, on the occasion of the Carnival, to stage fictitious “Musei Trieste” at the headquarters of the Circolo Artistico at the Portici di Chiozza. She also attended the Trieste Artistic Circle and was the owner of the house on Via Besenghi where the painter went to live on his return from Munich in 1914.

The group of artworks offered by Ponti Art Gallery contains also three modern artworks, such as a textile work by Corrado Cagli, an oil by Antonio Corpora and an ink on paper by Franco Angeli. In particular this last one, dated to the early Sixties, is part of the series of Cemeteries, made starting in 1961 and executed in pads with the serial repetition of crosses and swastikas. A technique that, as Calvesi wrote in 1970, specifying the value of focusing and fading also deduced from photographic and cinema procedures, is based on stratification and evanescence: two values that are not lyricism as an end in itself, but an expression of “moral interiority” in the artistic research conducted by Angeli. The memory of the drama of the second world war and of the devastation produced by inhuman ideologies is imprinted on the paper by the artist, making the support a sort of radiography of a private and at the same time collective pain.

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