Noè Raimondo Bordignon was born in Salvarosa di Castelfranco Veneto on 3 September 1841, son of Domenico Lazzaro, tailor, and Angela Dorella, seamstress. He and the fourth of eight children. At the age of seven he is orphaned of his mother. His aptitude for drawing was noted from the earliest schools, so much so that some Castellani took a personal interest in the Municipality of Castelfranco so that he could attend the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Venice. This happens in 1859 at the age of 18. His professors are Michelangelo Gregoretti, Carlo De Blaas and Pompeo Molmenti, among his study colleagues we mention Giacomo Favretto and Guglielmo Ciardi. His ability and commitment led him to achieve the silver medal in the figure elements for the third class in the school year 1861/62. He finished his course of study at the Academy in 1865 with an excellent result, so much so that he earned a government scholarship to study in Rome. After the Roman period he also stops for a few months in Florence to study the various schools of painting. In 1869 he returned to Venice, where in 1871 he opened his studio in San Vio, Forner's swimming pool, while the studio set up in his father's house where he prepared a long series of works remains open. It was from San Zenone that, with a unanimous decision of the population, the complex decoration of the new parish church was commissioned. Begun with the large triptych of the ceiling in 1869, the works continue from time to time until 1882, interspersed with those carried out in Pagnano in 1874, in Sant'Apollinare in 1875, in Monfumo in 1877. They culminate with the grandiose "Last Judgment" in the apse , inaugurated in 1879. But in the decade between 1869 and the end of 1879 its activity also asserted itself through works carried out in the studios of Castelfranco and San Vio, as well as in the large religious and profane frescoes, so much so that in 1880 it obtained "a government pension for distinct merit ", which consists of" free study and accommodation at Palazzo Rezzonico ". In the meantime Noè met and attended Maria Zanchi, until on Easter 1886, in the Carmini church in Venice, the parish priest Don Francesco Soranzo blessed their marriage. During the Venetian period the painter's fame was further established. But his inclusion as an artist in the academic environment is not easy. He meets the opposition of the most authoritative representatives of the Biennale, who contest his works by him. Rejected the paintings "Pappa al fogo" and "Interior of the Frari Church", the painter sent them to the Paris Exposition, where they were awarded a gold medal. There are various reasons for the rejection by the exponents of the Biennale, deriving above all, according to the testimonies, from the personality of the artist, who does not accept compromises with his colleagues. He himself affirms, now an old man, "that Ciardi insistently invited him to become attached to Freemasonry if he wanted to lead the way"; but he did not accept and opposed it in coherence with his Catholic faith as well. In the meantime he also participated in numerous exhibitions in various Italian and foreign cities: in Paris, International Exhibition in 1878 («Fanciulli che cantano», award-winning work); in Turin in 1880 («Maidens singing in the valley» and «Back from school»); in Florence in 1883; again in Turin in 1884 ("Lucrezia degli Obizi"); in Venice in 1887; in Rome at the Amatori e Cultori di Belle Arti society in 1889 ("New shoes"); in Berlin in 1894 («Confirmation», award-winning work); in Sassari in 1895 ("Blessed Age"); again in Turin in 1898 ("Beginning of career", "Posing model", "Game of cards"); in Liverpool ("Interior of Santa Maria dei Frari in Venice", awarded with a first degree gold medal); in Milan in 1900; in New York in 1902; in Chile in 1902; in Florence in 1907 and 1908; in Berlin in 1910 and 1911; again in Munich, Brussels, Leipzig, Vienna, Palermo. The oppositions and contrasts, especially with Ciardi, continue, so much so as to induce him to leave Venice and retire to San Zenone. The archpriest Msgr. Bianchetto who gave him the former house of the chaplain Don Antonio Renier for a modest rent and also entrusted him with the decoration of the Sanctuary of the Beata Vergine della Salute in October 1891. In the meantime, he continued his activity with frescoes such as "Le ore" in the Avogadro villa. of Castelfranco and the "Parade in Greek costume at the temple of Minerva" in Bassano in the villa De Micheli, destroyed by bombing in the last war. Twelve of the most grandiose frescoes in various churches in the Marca Trevigiana and in the provinces of Venice and Vicenza and twenty-eight of his best paintings are from this period. In 1913, after the death of his beloved and very gifted (in painting) son Lazzaro on 7 September 1906, and of his wife on 27 May 1913, he officially moved his residence in San Zenone to a house of his own, where in the studio, a rustic room, unadorned, or out in the open,he works freely, his sleeves rolled up, head uncovered, in slippers or clogs, frequently taking up the villagers he meets as the subjects of his paintings. In August 1920 he falls to the ground fracturing his femur. His physique is unable to pass this last test. He died on 7 December 1920, leaving the self-portrait unfinished, the last significant witness of his inner labor and his ability.


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