Prev / Next

Works from Bruno Mantura collection

Tuesday 23 March 2021, 03:00 PM • Rome


Arturo Viligiardi

(Siena 1869 - Alessandria 1936)

"Siena - In the sacristy", 1907


€ 500 - 800


€ 768

The price includes buyer's premium


oil on canvas
75 x 62 cm
On the back, on the canvas, entitled, dedicated and dated: Siena - In the sacristy. / Arturo Viligiardi to his friend / Galileo Barucci - for memory - / 21-5-1907.

Trained in the Sienese purist environment dominated by the figures of Alessandro Franchi and Luigi Mussini, Arturo Viligiardi arrived in Rome in 1888 where he worked in the yard of the Senate frescoes alongside Cesare Maccari, a master who will then Genoa for the decoration of the Consolation chapel and in the sanctuary of Loreto, undergoing a marked influence. Very active especially between Rome and Tuscany in sacred painting and in the decoration of religious buildings, starting from the mid-nineties Viligiardi shows in his production a decisive turn in the symbolist direction, particularly evident in works such as Sul Calvario (1894, private collection), Purgatory (1895, location unknown), or Parable of the virgins (1895, private collection) [1] , vast canvases that are characterized by the audacity of the compositional lighting effects and in which the sacred theme is interpreted with visionary sensitivity.

Deeply imbued with symbolist moods is also Siena - In sacristy, one of the few known examples of his painting of easel. If the dense pictorial material and the broad, free and decomposed brushstroke clearly show the reflection on the experience of Antonio Mancini and, more generally, on the Neapolitan artistic production of the end of the century, which Viligiardi had been able to know in depth during a stay in Naples in the 1899, the layout of the scene is of considerable interest and originality: a close detail - fully symbolist in taste - of a sacristy interior, with five young people carrying lighted candles gathered around the base of a processional candlestick on which branches of olive tree. The framing of the image, with the four heads seen from behind or in profile and of which we only grasp some details of the hair and face, shows a clear reflection on the photographic language, in those years at the center of the interest of the most up-to-date artists. Of the setting behind, perhaps of the curtains, little is evident while the face of the fifth boy catalyzes the attention that, partly in full light and partly wrapped in a suggestive half-light, looks fixedly at the viewer. A look full of mystery that brings with it both the restlessness of Mancini's portraits and the spiritualist tensions of the beginning of the century.

The painting is dedicated to Galileo Barucci, professor of drawing in various Piedmont institutes, author of drawings and reliefs for illustrated volumes ( The castle of Vigevano in history and art, Vigevano 1909, Casa Cavassa in Saluzzo, Saluzzo 1912) and numerous manuals on drawing and history of architecture for schools.

Sabrina Spinazzè

[1] Works are reproduced in Siena tra purismo e Liberty, catalog of the exhibition, Siena, Museo Civico, 20 May - 30 October 1988, pp. 53-54.

Contact, +39 06 87765655 Text us on WhatsApp