Centuries of Beauty - A Refined Private Collection
Michelangelo Merisi (Michele Angelo Merigi or Amerighi) da Caravaggio, known as simply Caravaggio, was an Italian painter active in Rome for most of his artistic life. During the final four years of his life he moved between Naples, Malta, and Sicily until his death. His paintings have been characterized by art critics as combining a realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, with a dramatic use of lighting, which had a formative influence on Baroque painting.
Gino Severini was an Italian painter and a leading member of the Futurist movement. For much of his life he divided his time between Paris and Rome. He was associated with neo-classicism and the "return to order" in the decade after the First World War. During his career he worked in a variety of media, including mosaic and fresco. He showed his work at major exhibitions, including the Rome Quadrennial, and won art prizes from major institutions.
Bernard Buffet was a French painter, printmaker, and sculptor.
He produced a varied and extensive body of work. His style was exclusively figurative. The artist enjoyed worldwide popularity early in his career but was shunned by art pundits later on.
Today, there is a renewed interest in Bernard Buffet's oeuvre. His works can be seen in the collections of the world's leading museums, including the Musée d'Art Moderne de Paris, the Tate, and the Museum of Modern Art.
Afro Basaldella was an Italian abstractionist painter, a representative of lyrical abstraction, better known as Afro.
Afro's father and uncle were decorators, his two older brothers became sculptors, and to avoid confusion with surnames, the artist began signing his works with his first name only. Bazaldella trained in Florence, Venice and Rome. Shortly after graduation, his first monographic exhibition was held in Milan.
From 1935, Afro exhibited regularly at the Quadrennale in Rome and the Biennale in Venice. He made frescoes, notably for the Udine Opera House, and mosaics, and tried his hand at painting in a variety of directions. In 1941 he became a lecturer in mosaic painting at the Venice Academy of Fine Arts, and in 1950 he caused a sensation in the United States, and by the mid-1950s Afro's art was world famous.
Afro interpreted the Italian tradition in a modern abstract form that resulted from his painterly studies of color harmony.
Ardengo Soffici was an Italian artist and art critic. One of the founders of futurism. Supported Fascism.
Ardengo Soffici entered the Florence Academy of Fine Arts in 1897, then went on to study painting in Paris, where he became an art critic and illustrator in 1904. During this period he meets Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Gino Severini and Guillaume Apollinaire. From 1908 he works for a new magazine "La Voce", in which he publishes a number of his essays on contemporary French painting and literature. Strongly influenced by Cubism since his Paris trip, Ardengo Soffici sharply criticises Futurist painting in his articles.
Louis Valtat was a French painter and printmaker associated with the Fauves ("the wild beasts", so named for their wild use of color), who first exhibited together in 1905 at the Salon d'Automne. He is noted as a key figure in the stylistic transition in painting from Monet to Matisse.
Antonio de Pereda y Salgado was a Spanish Baroque painter and a recognized master of the vanitas genre.
He was born into a creative family: his father and mother were painters, his two younger brothers also became painters.
Antonio de Pereda's work is characterized by a meticulous painting of the smallest details, he gives particular importance to light. The subjects of religious paintings and the construction of the composition meet all the standards of spiritual art adopted in the 17th century. De Pereda also painted still lifes vanitas and allegories.
Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, better known as Guercino, was an Italian Baroque painter and draftsman from Cento in the Emilia region, who was active in Rome and Bologna. The vigorous naturalism of his early manner contrasts with the classical equilibrium of his later works. His many drawings are noted for their luminosity and lively style.