The Po river and art


Artists in the 19th and 20th centuries were fascinated by the river landscapes of the Po and its tributaries, such as the Baganza and Parma, and their works betray their poetic transformation of the landscape. In Sartori’s painting the image is pastoral, Arcadian, and rather realistic. A few decades later, Scaramuzza’s landscape is even more realistic and atmospheric: one can almost hear the wind rustling through the trees. Zoni paints the river at two different times: early in his career, an almost metaphysical sunset, where the human figure is insignificant before the vastness of nature. Two decades later, he paints an informal riverscape, where colour and sentiment reign supreme. Manara, with his photographic style, paints the bridge over the Po river near Casalmaggiore, with the town’s buildings in the background and a cloud of black smoke, probably from a smokestack, set off against a grey-blue sky. Campagnani depicts a romantic, tumultuous landscape: the Po river at flood stage under a threatening sky, while a peasant tries to run away together with his dog and horse-drawn cart.