Gennaro FAVAI (1879-1958)

Lot 12
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Estimation :
1000 - 1500 EUR
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Gennaro FAVAI (1879-1958)
Gennaro FAVAI (1879-1958) In the mirror (Self-portrait), 1934 Oil on panel Signed, titled, located and dated on the back 120 x 100 cm During his training as a painter, Favai studied the Italian masters, as well as the Dutch and Spanish schools of the 17th century, the English school of the 18th century and the French school of the 19th century. After a brief period at the Venice Academy of Fine Arts, he continued his training with the Italian painter Vittore Zanetti Zilla, and befriended Mario de Maria. He first exhibited his work in 1898 at the Salon de la Società Promotrice delle Belle Arti in Florence, then at the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1905, and at the Venice Biennale in 1907. Having lived in Tarmina, Syracuse and Capri, he was in constant contact with urban yet verdant landscapes, where the sea was omnipresent. His exposure to these environments played a central role in his work, enabling him to develop a new form of landscape expression, marked by an intense color palette and a canvas with strong contrasts between light and shadow. A great admirer of Venice, where he also lived, he also produced numerous street scenes of the "Floating City", including its nightlife and urban planning. A friend of the American poet Ezra Pound, his daughter, Mary de Rachewiltz, described him as "tall, slim, lively, dressed in a dazzling white suit, with an enormous white beard and frizzy hair standing on end. His dark eyes and tongue were always in full activity, except when he and Babbo [Ezra Pound] were playing chess, absorbed in their game for hours on end." She also recounts that his large studio in Campo Sant Agnese was "furnished with imposing furniture, books and his amazing paintings: pale colors, misty landscapes, mostly views of Venice." This work is particularly noteworthy for the fact that the artist paints himself working on a nighttime cityscape, holding a palette with colors well underway, in the reflection of a mirror. In this painting, done in Paris in 1934, Favai creates a self-portrait synthesizing the key moments of his life. On documents in the lower left-hand corner, we find a reference to his years spent in Capri, and more generally to the Amalfi coast, where he lived in various places. He also cites his own works in the lower right, with a view of Venice and one of Notre-Dame de Paris.
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