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Telemaco's Scottish Bridge

An Italian painter and printmaker, friend of Degas and Desboutin, Telemaco Signorini (1835-1901) was arguably the most talented and versatile of the group of mid-19th century Italian painters known as the Macchiaioli (from the word macchia, which means spot or stain). He was introduced to painting by his father Giovanni (1810-1862), court painter to the Grand Duke of Tuscany.

Produced during one of the painter's many trips to Great Britain, this view of Waverley Bridge in Edinburgh has just been acquired by the National Galleries of Scotland to enrich its collections.

Telemaco Signorini. Le Pont de Waverley à Edinburgh. 1881.
Telemaco Signorini. Le Pont de Waverley à Edinburgh. 1881.

Telemaco Signorini developed a radical approach to painting on the ground, with bold brushstrokes in broad strokes and the use of strong contrasts of tone and color.

Reader of Proudhon, he participated in the struggles of the Risorgimento and took part in the campaign of 1859 under the orders of Garibaldi.

Telemaco Signorini. Banlieue de Port Adriana. Ravenne. 1875.Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea
Telemaco Signorini. Banlieue de Port Adriana. Ravenne. 1875.Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea

A great traveler, Telemaco Signorini crisscrossed Europe. In London he exhibited at the Royal Academy. If his style can be familiar with impressionism by the originality of the composition swept briskly by broad brushstrokes, he puts more realism in his views of Florence, with strong shadow-sun contrasts, in a drier style.

Telemaco Signorini. La vieux marché Florence. 1883.
Telemaco Signorini. La vieux marché Florence. 1883. Collection privée.

Telemaco Signorini produced numerous drawings and engravings, and collaborated with a certain talent as a writer on numerous magazines. He died in Florence in 1901.


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