Born in Turin on August 10, 1836, to a Valsesian family, who died in the same city on December 14, 1910. At the age of fifteen he left his studies for painting, first attending the academy of Pisa (1851), then for Alexandre Calame's studio in Geneva (1852-57) for four years, where he met Fontanesi. In the same period he stayed in Holland and Belgium, and, in 1855, in Paris, where at the Universal Exposition he had the opportunity to admire the greatest exponents of French naturalism, Corot and the landscape painters of Fontainebleau (Courbet, Rousseau, Huet, Daubigny). His stay in Paris is decisive: on his return to Geneva he moves away from Calame and establishes relations, as well as with Fontanesi, with G. Castan and B. Menn, the two most French-speaking students of Calame. For two years (1858-59) his paintings were refused to the Promoter of fine arts in Turin, a city then a stronghold of calamism, to which he would then always exhibit regularly. Between 1857 and 1860 he moved to Rome (he returned there in 1865), where he frequented the artistic entourage of Nino Costa, however making frequent stays in Piedmont alongside the painters of Rivara, painting in the Canavese and Vercelli areas. In 1861 he settled in Turin, where he combined his painting activity with the study and collecting of ancient art, which led him to undertake numerous public and private commitments: in 1865 he was commissioned to rearrange the Bargello Museum in Florence; in 1872 he buys and restores with A. D'Andrade the castle of Issogne in Val d'Aosta, then donating it to the State; he oversaw the restoration of the Silva palace in Domodossola and the Cavassa house in Saluzzo (1885); in 1884 he collaborated with D'Andrade in the construction of the medieval village in Turin. From 1890 to his death he was director of the Civic Museum of Turin. A monographic exhibition was dedicated to him at the Venice Biennale, with fifty-three works, in 1912, and a posthumous exhibition, in 1952. He is a landscape painter of great value, with a refined and subtle sensitivity, and he imprints his works on a personal lyricism. Three ways can be distinguished in him: the first "calamist", the second "naturalist" (from 1855), the third "individual" (Stella), extended to the interpretative representation of nature. He is considered, alongside Delleani, one of the "renovators of Piedmontese painting of the nineteenth century". His paintings are kept in Italian and foreign state and private collections. In the Gallery of Modern Art in Rome: The Pussino Valley (1874); in the Modern Art Gallery of Turin: A Fiumicino (1879); Campaign of Gattinara (1867); Countess Sofia di Bricherasio; The pasture. Other notable works of his are in the Turri collection in Milan: Landscape; in the Delleani di Carignano collection: The Roman countryside (1860); Il Teverone (1861); Prati di Castello (1886); in the collection of the Duchess of Genoa: A Lozzolo (1871); Country (1874); On the road to Calais (1878); Country (1878); in the Fogliato Collection in Turin: Alfa (1885); Latest study; Pax; in the Tournon collection in Turin: Meyringen (1854); Swamp (1898); in the Sandri Agoggio collection in Turin: Le canai des Frames; Green valet. Avondo is also an etcher and draftsman (a group of drawings of various subjects are kept at the Modern Art Gallery in Turin).


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