Monday, March 31, 2014

Trieste and the Palazzo Revoltella

Trieste from the Palazzo Revoltella

The great thing about visiting new places is the opportunity it affords to check out the art galleries for artists whose work is unfamiliar to you.

The Palazzo Revoltella

I have just been to Trieste and visited the Palazzo Revoltella. Which was once the home of  local importer, financier and politician  Pasquale Revoltella. He bequeathed his palazzo to the commune of Trieste and with it a huge sum of money  with instructions that they build and house an art collection. 
The modern art gallery in Palazzo Revoltella
Since then it has grown into a substantial gallery of late 19th century and 20th century art.
Pasquale Revoltella

 Pasquale became very much involved in the building of the Suez canal, obviously seeing the commercial benefits of it , but died just a month before it opened. Despite being unspeakably wealthy he never married, which may explain the large numbers of paintings of woman’s cleavages that adorned his walls. 

The early version of Playboy magazine.
Before the days of photography and the internet, wealthy men could afford to employ painters to give them pleasing images of the female form
The dining room in Palazzo Revolterra

One painting that intrigued me was  this one  ironically named The Holy Water
by an Austrian painter who I had never heard of called Albin Egger-Lienz (1868-1926)  . 
The Holy Water by Albin Egger-Lienz

 Its unusual and  powerful composition caught my eye immediately, so later  via the wonders of the internet  I managed to find more images of his work.

He was commissioned as a war artist in 1914
The skilful interweaving of the lines in this painting make for a very tight composition while the paring down of detail and colour towards abstraction heighten the expressive quality. You can feel the horror of these men’s predicament.

Albin Egger-Lienz ( a rather serious looking gentleman)
Resting Shepherds by Albin Egger-Lienz

The Sower  by Jean Francoise Millet

His paintings of  rural life owe a lot to Jean-Fran├žois Millet, but his compositional talents are all his own.
Hardtimes by Albin Egger-Lienz

In the modern sculpture room I found this delightful small sculpture 
Homage, 1963, steel, cm 70x65 by Dino Basaldella
It was so full of lovely lines and  intuitive sculptural ideas I wanted to steal it

Again on the internet I found that he was one of 3 artist brothers, Dino, Mirko and Afro, the later becoming the most  well known of the three. 

by Afro Basaldella
by Mirko Basaldella

All three were working through the 40's, 50's and 60's all exploring the visual language and producing work of high quality.  I have begun to notice that whenever  I am wandering through a gallery and  something catches my eye from a distance as something of quality and  I go over and check it out,  it more often than not turns out to be pre 1970.
Does this mean that my taste is stuck those years or that very little since then is of quality? How would I know?

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