Born on August 31, 1852 in Ferrara, died on June 21, 1920 in Lavagna (Genoa). He studied in Ferrara with Gaetano Domenichini and Giovanni Pagliarini, then in Florence with Amos Cassioli and he completed his artistic education at the Brera Academy with Giuseppe Bertini. In the early days of his career he was influenced by Cremona; but this influence, rather than with technique, he manifested it with his lyrical and pathetic way of feeling, with passionate imagination and with a dreamy representation of history as he intended it, summarized in his scenes and in his figures. He thus eluded the tendency towards the historical-patriotic painting of his time, and began his career as a great illustrator of history with the work Paolo e Francesco, from the Carrara Academy in Bergamo. Before him, this painting had exhibited The orgies of Cesare Borgia in Capua, with which he had impressed by the grandiose line of his narrator brush in such a large work. To this first period belong his works Gli hostaggi di Crema, in the Pinacoteca di Brera, admittedly romantic and with which in 1878 he won the Canonical Prize; Torquato Tasso dead; Dying Cleopatra; Opium smokers. In this theme, looking also at Morelli as well as Cremona, he remained at least until 1887. A few years later it was his meeting with Vittore Grubicy de Dragon and with Divisionism, which seemed to him the technical means to realize his new idealistic and luminous aspirations. In fact, Maternity, the first example of this new conception, dates back to 1891, followed by the Madonna dei Gigli from 1894 in the Galleria d'Arte Moderna in Milan. Innocence (pastoral scene) is a clear passing sign between these two trends. He then freed his brush again from all reminiscences of the historical picture, to raise his imagination to the rare fields of an emotional mystic, and painted: The funeral of the virgin; The dance of the hours; Sun King, in the Royal Museum of Brussels; Journey into the blue, in the Antonioli collection; Fall of the angels; Caravan in the desert; Creation of light; Lower Poetry; Superior poetry; Dream; Summer; The kiss; Novara; The church exit. He followed these works to others inspired by pure mysticism: marie suitor under the cross; The Via Crucis; The Ascension of Mary; The Magi, tried several times in different eras, and The Holy Family. He was the dramatic celebrator of superior loves and ideal figures. He showed great ease in nobly painting large surfaces, such as: Tìremm innanz, in the Galleria d'Arte Moderna in Milan; as a colourist he was almost symphonic; in him the coloristic conception of the picture prevailed over the representative part of the form, on which he had original objections of destruction. He knew how to give pictorial concreteness to the images as they appear to us in dreams. The deformations of his figures are parts, even if negative, of the triumph of his pictorial spiritualized thought. His Madonnas have complete absence of femininity and carnality, as required by the religious conception. In the Galleria d'Arte Moderna in Milan, in addition to the aforementioned, various works are preserved, including: The Madonna dei crilantemi; Donile and children in the garden; the watercolor for the work Il Re Sole. A variant of the Sun King; Journey into the blue; The Adoration of the Magi, in the Gallery of Modern Art in Rome. Il Carroccio and Mammina, in the Paolo and Adele Giannoni Gallery in Novara. The Portrait of the painter Campi and some drawings. Other works: The house of the Madonna, in the Valcarenghi collection. Nurse Diva; Preference; Horrors of war; Porto; I am the way, the truth, the life; At the door of the harem; Abelard; Moonlight; Grape; The verb; The way to Calvary; Red shawl, formerly in the Benzoni collection. Bucintoro; Genoese caravels; Pisan galleys; The Resegone, in the Gallery of Modern Art in Ferrara. On the lawn (1889-1890) in the Gallery of Modern Art in Florence. Head of Christ, in the Turri collection in Milan. Flight into Egypt, in the Finazzi collection in Bergamo, and a series of paintings with flowers. From 1917 family events distracted him from painting. In addition to his paintings, Previati left scholars with three volumes on painting theory and technique.


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