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Giovanni Fattori

(1825 Livorno – 1908 Florence)

Paese con macchiette. Etching and aquatint on zinc, printed on ivory-coloured wove paper. 13.2 x 20.8 cm. Chiappini 73.

Two farm labourers, lost amid an almost abstract network of lines, are barely discernible in the surrounding sun-drenched landscape, which groans under the merciless noonday heat, while the shimmering, glaring sunlight catches the leaves on the trees, making them gleam and creating a rhythmic and richly differentiated chiaroscuro in the dense vegetation.

In the 1880s Giovanni Fattori, an unsurpassed master in the rendering of light and atmosphere, developed an absolutely original and novel formal idiom. This etching reproduces with slight variations his painting Ortolani (The Market Gardeners; c. 1875). In order to obtain a rich tonal effect, Fattori often used zinc plates. The soft metal permits a more spontaneous, freer drawing style and is an ideal medium for producing a wide scale of painterly and atmospheric effects. The print runs are, however, smaller than in the case of the copper plates. Because of the experimental character of Fattori’s etching the individual proofs of one and the same print may differ considerably.

A brilliant and differentiated contemporary impression with large margins. Minor ageing, otherwise in perfect condition.

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