Born in Savona on 11 August 1853 of Piedmontese parents, he died in Milan on 21 June 1919. In Alessandria, while he was a young man, he applied himself in an artisan's shop to work on ornamental and decorative design. Later, in Milan, he learned the art of painting from Giuseppe Bertini at the Brera Academy. His first affirmation was in Rome, in 1883, with the historical picture A triumph of Christianity at the time of Alaric, still preserved in the collection of Prince Borghese, and with the Portrait of Signor Bernasconi. The following year, at the Turin Exposition, he was able to confirm the Roman success with the painting Painter in the grass. At the age of thirty he thus achieved a just notoriety which rapidly increased due to the progress that the young painter showed, expressing more and more a strong personality from his canvases. Tallone's technique and temperament had a continuous critical and illustrative illumination in both Italian and foreign exhibitions, which he actively attended. In 1885 he was appointed professor of painting at the Carrara Academy of Bergamo; he lived for fourteen years in this city, and also held the direction of the institute. In the care of teaching he was able to harmonize an industrious pictorial activity at that time. This is the period of the widest and most complete flowering of his work expressed in the vigor of the mature years and affirming one of the most powerful artistic individualities of the time. In 1908, the Principe Umberto Prize was awarded to the Portrait of Mrs. Giannina Castelli, exhibited at the «Permanente» in Milan. In 1899 he had been appointed successor of his master Bertini to the chair of painting at the Brera Academy, and for twenty years he taught there with careful love and sure teaching of art until the last days of his life. Most of Tallonian's production is made up of portraits. Even in the few genre paintings, such as La massaia; The cook friar; Motherhood; The drunkard, he portrayed the characters with the typical relief of the characteristics of the portrait. As a landscape painter, Cesare Tallone also had a strong technical and property value. Vespasiano Bignami, on the occasion of the posthumous exhibition in 1921, spoke of it thus: «We must not think of Tallone only as a portrait painter, but he is also a strong landscape painter; also in this branch of his art we can see the aristocracy of the dye, the fluency of the rapid brushstroke, the safety of the form, the sense of air and light. In his most heartfelt and profound works, he reaches the height of the great ancients and we must mainly take into account these works when evaluating the merit of their author; to direct special attention to these, from these to deduce that he has left us a magnificent example of robust aesthetic health ». For Tallone, painting was a physical need. He wanted to represent the truth so clearly that he competed with the evidence of the truth itself. When he placed himself in front of a living figure to portray her, he always created a powerful work of pictorial representation: even better if, instead of a commissioned portrait, it was one of those figures that he chose from among the types that most excited the his fantasy. The work of him remains as a milestone, in opposition to romanticism, symbolism, idealism and all the influences that gave so much variety to Italian painting at the end of the nineteenth century. Some of his best known works are: A pious damsel defends the sacred furnishings entrusted to his custody, located in the Brera Art Gallery, from the rapacity of a Goto; Nude study; Portrait of Natale Valtorta; by Daniele Lavati; by Angiolo Galimberti and the aforementioned Massaia, all in the Gallery of Modern Art in Milan; Female portrait, in the collection of the master Gallini; La Maddalena, in that of cav. Giovanni Bianchi; The portrait of Cesare Maironi, property of the cav. prof. Arturo Bertoli of Bergamo; Brescia side of Lake Iseo; Bossico plateau; Seriana Valley; Stalla Pontina, the latter in the collection of Signor Luigi Florio of Milan; Study for a Cleopatra, owned by Mr. Banzanici; Romper, in the Berizzi collection in Bergamo. Two portraits of him are exhibited in the Gallery of Modern Art in Rome and two others are in the gallery of the Accademia Carrara in Bergamo; The cousins ​​(unfinished canvas) and the portrait of the Painter Raffele are in the «Ricci Oddi» Gallery in Piacenza; A woman's head; The portrait of his daughter Teresa and that of Luigi Bernasconi, located in the «Paolo e Adele Giannoni» gallery in Novara.


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