Gaetano Fasanotti - inv. 29

Gaetano Fasanotti (1831-1882)

1867 c.
watercolour on paper  
29 x 26 cm
1879 bequest Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli
Inv. 29

not on display
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Although in good condition, there are several brown patches especially in the sky.
The artist was particularly fond of painting river landscapes. Composed on different planes, the foreground shows a pool of water reflecting the tall trees and two figures, while a cloudy sky occupies the upper half of the work. The leafy branches in the trees and the mixing of green, blue, red and yellow indicate a peaceful summer day.
Describing the landscape, Fasanotti is interested in the minute details of the water’s transparency and refraction, meticulously rendering the effects of light on the various surfaces. He exploits the watercolour technique to the full to obtain remarkably rich nuances, with brushstrokes of varying colour density.
On the basis of stylistic similarities to other paintings, this work can be dated to about 1867.
After beginning as a painter of historic subjects (he took part in the so-called ‘Five Days of Milan’ uprising), Gaetano Fasanotti devoted himself almost entirely to landscapes, preferring views of the Po plain, river and lake scenes. From 1853, and regularly up to 1879, he exhibited in the annual Brera exhibitions. From 1860 to 1864 he taught at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts promoting the idea of painting en plein air, and his example greatly influenced the development of landscape painting.