Born in Ferrara on September 29, 1857, to poor peasants, died in Milan on June 14, 1931. Orphaned by his father at the age of five, he had a miserable and troubled childhood that soon made him aware of pain. He began his studies at the University of Ferrara and with a check granted to him by the Municipality he passed to the Academy of Parma, then to Brera in Milan, where he studied with Casnedi, with Ferrano, with Berlini. The Ferrara allowance was too poor to support a family while he studied; for this he sought manual work. In 1880 he was appointed teacher of perspective and scenography at the Brera Academy, and he committed himself to this position as a mission and an apostolate, for over forty years. His artistic notoriety dates back to 1891, when he exhibited at the Milan Triennale Ora triste. Four years later he presented Tears to the public, with the solidly drawn architectural background, which was to become the characteristic part of the ensemble of his works. He was a regular exhibitor at the Brera Biennials from 1895 to 1914; he sent works to almost all the Venice Internationals and participated in the main Italian and foreign exhibitions. His best known works of him are: Panem nostrum daily; Sad vision, which belongs to the Gallery of Modern Art in Venice; Gloria (triptych), preserved in that of Rome; The morticino in that of Milan; Piazza San Marco in Venice, owned by De Vecchi; Il Viaticum, in the Zuccoli collection; Abandoned church, in the Sommariva of Milan; Shadow; Wakefulness; Peace; The soul of the stones; Passion week (triptych); Eternal altar, (triptych); The entrance to the Certosa di Pavia; The ruler; Working mother, who was awarded the Principe Umberto Prize in Milan in 1900. He also knew how to amalgamate the fantastic element with the real. In all his figurations the pathetic note is always the most vibrant. His is the cycle of landscape studies done in the places of Franciscanism, as well as the drawings of ancient Rome published in the volume "Rome", the text of which was written by Luca Beltrami. When the School of Applied Art was created, at the Institute of Physical Re-education of War Mutilals, the direction was entrusted to Mentessi. He was also an etching artist of rare precision and great sensitivity. He emulated Conconi in achieving violent highlights of light and nocturnal effects. They remember Lagrime in his brilliant activity; The aggression; II funeral, episodes of the four engravings illustrating the drama on the day of the festival. Other etchings: The interior of a baroque church; Baroque church facade; The study table. He was the teacher of A. A. Alciati, of R. Brambilla, of G. Galbusera, of A. Rizzi.


Via Senato, 45

T +39 02 87 23 57 52



Via Garibaldi, 29 R

T +39 010 24 70 150


©2015 ENRICO Gallerie d'Arte - All Right Reserved - P.IVA 00985970094 | Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy | Site Map