Lyrical landscape


“Landscape is, like music, a state of mind”. This is how the art critic Giovanni Cena described Antonio Fontanesi’s work in 1901. Fontanesi’s paintings, inspired by those of Corot and Millet, reflected the luminous, atmospheric, and meditative aspects of the countryside of Emilia and Piedmont. Giuseppe Carnovali, known as Piccio, painted Biblical and mythological subjects set in fable-like landscapes inspired by the countryside of Lombardy. His works showed a broad naturalistic scope and a classicist bent, much like Annibale Carracci’s paintings from the early 17th century, and later on by Nicolas Poussin. Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo painted many landscapes from life using a Divisionist technique, with a prevailing lyrical aspect that transcended the forests of Lombardy from which he drew inspiration. In lyrical landscape painting, which embraces several genres from Romanticism to Symbolism from the early 19th to the early 20th centuries, the painters draw inspiration from real life and nature, and imbue their works with their states of mind and intimate aspirations, in order to reveal, through vibrant light and colours, the links between the human soul and the energy of nature, between the infinitesimally small and the unimaginably big, where nature becomes a dream-like space filled with symbolism.