Born in Livorno on 6 September 1825. He first studied with Giuseppe Baldini in Livorno, in the private Accademia dei Floridi. From 1845 he moved to Florence, where he first attended the private courses of Giuseppe Bezzuoli, then those of the Academy of Florence, of Bezzuoli himself and his help Enrico Pollastrini, of the sculptor Benedetto Servolini and of the painter Tommaso Gazzarrini. Here he has as companions and friends, among others, Vito D’Ancona and Silvestro Lega. In 1848 he joined the Action Party, spreading its clandestine press. The following year he witnesses the siege of Livorno which leaves an indelible impression on him. Since 1850 he has frequented the cenacle of anti-academic artists at the Caffè Michelangiolo. His first noteworthy painting is the Self-portrait of 1854 (Florence, Galleria d Arte Moderna); followed by the two versions of the Siege of Florence, Margherita Pusterla and Ildegonda, exhibited respectively at the Florentine Promoter of 1856 and 1857 and 1858, Elizabeth Queen of England (1855), Maria Stuarda at the Crookstone Field (1859-1861, Florence , Gallery of Modern Art). In 1859, after the return of Serafino De Tivoli, Domenico Morelli and Francesco Saverio Altamura from the 1855 Paris Universal Exposition, he experimented with stain painting, a new naturalistic conception of light output at the center of the artistic discussions of the Michelangiolo café. The series of small oil tablets and drawings collected in two albums depicting the French soldiers led to Tuscany by Girolamo Napoleone Bonaparte date back to the summer of 1859. These works, where he fine-tunes compositions based on the correct application of splashes of color in the balance of tones and the drawing grid, are admired by Nino Costa, on a visit to Florence. He participates in the Ricasoli Competition for the theme of contemporary history, which he wins with the sketch of the Italian field after the battle of Magenta. In the summer of 1861 he went to the battlegrounds to study the effects of light and atmosphere. The unfinished painting was presented in the same year at the first National Exhibition in Florence (1860-1862, Florence, Galleria d’Arte Moderna). The Portrait of his cousin Argia (Florence, Gallery of Modern Art) and the Boyfriends also date back to 1861. Followed by the battle pictures Garibaldi in Palermo (1860-1861), Cavalry charge in Montebello (1862, Livorno, Giovanni Fattori Civic Museum), Garibaldi wounded in Aspromonte (1863) and the group of studies around the Mincio Passage and the Infantry Italians to the Madonna della Scoperta (1864). Returning to Livorno, between 1862 and 1866 he painted the Portrait of his first wife (1864-1865, Rome, National Gallery of Modern Art), the Acquaiole Livorno (1865), The Macchiaiole (1865), The Rotunda of Calmieri (1866 ). In 1867 he settled again in Florence and participated in the National Painting Competition, winning a prize with the monumental editorial staff of the Assault on the Madonna della Scoperta (1866-1868, Livorno, Giovanni Fattori Civic Museum). In the summer of that year he was Diego Martelli's guest for the first time in Castiglioncello, where he worked with Giuseppe Abbati and Odoardo Borrani. Then the portraits Valerio Biondi, Mrs. Martelli, Diego Martelli on horseback, Lady outdoors, Vallòspoli, Matilde Gioli and her dogs, Eugenio Cecconi who paints, the small landscape studies Pineta di Castiglioncello, Red barrels, Olives on the marina were born , Return from hunting, and the most solemn works such as Bovi al carro (around 1867, Florence, Galleria d’Arte Moderna di Palazzo Pitti), Harvesting hay in Maremma (1871), Maremma, Rest in Maremma, Three wild horses in pasture (1872), Wild horses in Maremma, Manes in the wind, Horses grazing. In 1870 the wounded Prince Amedeo in Custoza was awarded at the National Exhibition in Parma. In 1872 he went to Rome for the execution of the Horse Market in Piazza Montanara in Rome, awarded at the Vienna International Exposition of 1873, then lost in a shipwreck on his return to Italy from the Melbourne Exposition of 1880. During these years he painted La Vedetta or The White Wall (1872), Roman Barrocci, which belonged to Diego Martelli (about 1873, Florence, Gallery of Modern Art), Sosta in Maremma, The Cavalry Charge (1873), later sent to Paris at the Universal Exhibition of 1878, Campagna Romana (about 1879, Milan, National Museum of Science and Technology "Leonardo da Vinci"), the three versions of the Posta al Campo (one of which was awarded in Philadelphia in 1876) and the two versions of the animated avenue (1880-1881). In 1875 he went to Paris, as a guest of Federico Zandomeneghi, with Francesco Gioli, Egisto Ferroni and Niccolò Cannicci, where he studied above all the painting of the Barbizon and Corot schools. On his return he is the guest of Francesco Gioli in Vallòspoli near Fauglia, not far from Castiglioncello, where he paints Vallòspoli, which also belonged to Diego Martelli (1875, Florence, Galleria d 'Arte Moderna). In 1876 he began to devote himself to the vast canvas Quadrato di Villafranca (Battle of Custoza), his most demanding military painting, completed in 1880 and purchased in 1883 for the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome. From 1880 are Lo explosive del cassone (Venice, International Gallery of Modern Art) and Lo staffato (Florence, Modern Art Gallery). Since then he has devoted himself almost exclusively to military (Return of the Cavalry, 1888) and rural subjects, in particular to peasant costumes and the life of the cowboys, often in large paintings. The favorite places for his painting are the La Marsiliana estate, near Albinia, where since 1882 he has been a guest of Prince Tommaso Corsini (The rest or The red cart, 1885, Milan, Pinacoteca di Brera, Marking of foals and The leap of the sheep, both from 1887 and exhibited in Venice in the same year; Prairie, Principio di una gurrasca, Cavalli alla greppia); Varràmista, in the province of Pontedera, and in Casignano, near Scandicci, where he is a guest of the Marquis Paolo Gentile Farinola (Farmers' houses, Florence, Modern Art Gallery, Plowing, Flail beaters, Children in the avenue, Mad, Collector of leaves, Three impressions); the Florentine and Livorno countryside (Sosta alle Cascine, Red Blankets, Sesto Diligence, Crocicchio di Campagna); San Piero a Sieve, in Mugello, in the two Medici villas of Mozzete, also belonging to the Corsini family, and of Schifanoja, owned by the Cambray-Digny family; finally, San Godenzo, also in Mugello, guest of his friend Gustavo Pierozzi (Market in San Godenzo, exhibited in Rome in 1883 with the title A cattle fair, 1882, Florence, Modern Art Gallery). Followed by Maremma (1885, Florence, Galleria d’Arte Moderna), Butteri (1893), Butteri and herds of oxen in Maremma (1894), exhibited in 1895 at the Venice Biennale, Self-portrait (1894), Herdsman dragged by an enraged ox (Around 1900), Dead horse (1903). He often practices pastel, even in large paintings (White Horse, 1903 and Tuscan Maremma, both in Florence, Galleria d’Arte Moderna; the Fatal Encounter, around 1900; Cavalry maneuvers, exhibited at the Venice Biennale of 1901) and a mixed technique of charcoal, pastel and watercolor (Bovi nel padule, Pro patria mori, Adua: after the battle, exhibited respectively at the Venice Biennale of 1901 and 1903, Affogato, 1904, Hurrà ai valorosi, 1907, Livorno, Giovanni Fattori Civic Museum, exhibited at the Venice Biennale of the same year). Since 1883 he has applied himself diligently in etching, obtaining results of great quality, so much so that in 1900 he won the gold medal at the Universal Exposition in Paris (Bovi al carro: Maremma, 1888). In 1888, on the occasion of the First Exhibition of Fine Arts in Bologna, 21 of his sheets were purchased for the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome, and another 6 by the Ministry of Education. From 1901 to 1905 he was a member of the artistic commission of the National Chalcography of Rome. We have received 174 plates (14 in copper and 160 in zinc), for a total of 176 engravings, to which are added another 8 engravings perhaps printed by the artist himself, whose plates are now lost. Regularly printed by the artist, reprints were made in 1925, on the occasion of the centenary of his birth (a selection of 164 plates reprinted in two editions of 50 copies, at the Benaglia publisher in Florence), in 1958, on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of his death (the same 164 plates with the addition of the remaining 10 unpublished, on behalf of the National Calcography of Rome), and in 1970 (only the 10 unpublished matrices, at the Vallerini publisher of Pisa). Since 1869 he has been appointed correspondent professor of the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence and since 1876 he has been active as a teacher; in 1880 he was appointed honorary professor of painting and assistant to Giuseppe Ciaranfi in the teaching of the figure, a chair he held in 1893. He spent his last years between Florence and Livorno, alternating with works of great commitment, such as the Portrait of his stepdaughter and of his Second wife, both from 1889, country studies and his own family life (Portrait of his third wife, 1905, Livorno, Giovanni Fattori Civic Museum). She is regularly present at the Promoters and at various national and international exhibitions: in 1890 in Cologne, where she obtained the gold medal, in 1896 in Berlin, in 1897 in Dresden, in 1900 in Munich and Paris, in 1904 in Saint Louis, where he is awarded a silver medal. In 1905 he made a trip to Padua, Verona, Mantua and Bologna. He died in Florence on August 30, 1908.


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