Fattori's white wall

Fattori's white wall
Fattori's white wall

Giovanni Fattori (1825 – 1908) is considered the most prominent member of the group of painters called Macchiaioli. This group was made up mainly of Italian painters, and almost all of them originated in the region of Tuscany like Fattori himself. In the list of artists are Silvestro Lega, Telémaco Signorini, Raffaello Sernesi, Vito d'Ancona, Vincenzo Cabianca or Giovanni Boldini. All of them made their works in this style between the years 1860 and 1880, and the truth is that it was an art that was completely misunderstood both by the public and by the vast majority of critics. However, despite this and the fact that their works were not accepted in official exhibitions, the truth is that they did not give up their continuous pictorial research.

Fattori's white wall

Fattori's White Wall

The common denominator of all of them is a technique based on the creation of effects on color spots. In fact, the very name of Macchiaioli comes from the Italian word macchia (stain). They went out to paint in the open air, to observe and capture the effects that light had on objects, in a very similar way to what the Impressionist painters were doing in France at the same time. Although, the results are different.

In general, all the macchiaioli, thoughThey have personal traits, they are also united by their treatment of color stains, in which they pose strong contrasts between light and dark, thereby giving liveliness or paleness to the objects, landscapes or characters they portray. And the final result is one of great simplicity, reducing shapes to the essentials.

As in Impressionism, these artists loved to paint landscapes and rural scenes, especially of the Tuscan countryside. Although they also made paintings of an urban environment, and on many occasions they appear military, as in the work that concerns us by Fattori: The white wall.

The truth is that in 1859 he was commissioned to paint the episodes of theSecond War of Italian Independence, and since then he has painted the military of his country on many occasions

However, beyond the theme, the most remarkable thing about this work is the pictorial technique that Fattori possessed. We see a wall, the white wall, in a clear perspective, cutting the entire composition in a resounding diagonal. And dominating the entire canvas with its light color, in fact it reflects the light of that landscape, in which light tones also predominate, both in the dirt floor in the foreground and in the summer fields in the background.

And on those light tones appear the three soldiers mounted on horseback, which contrasts a lot due to their dark uniforms. Everything is perfectly drawn, and yet what is striking is the color of each element, from the white of the soldiers' hat, to the dark bridlesof the horses.

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