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Old 08-18-2008   #1
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Giovanni Segantini (1858-1899)

From the Wikipedia entry for Giovanni Segantini:

Giovanni Segantini was born at Arco in Trentino. His mother, who died in 1863, came from an old mountain family. His father, a commoner, left for Milan, to seek his fortune with another son, leaving Segantini behind. At age seven he ran away and was later found perishing of cold and hunger; he began to earn his bread by herding flocks in the hills and there he spent his long hours of solitude in drawing.
As news of his fame reached the ears of a syndic, Segantini was sent back to Milan; unable to endure domestic life, he soon escaped again, and led the life of a wanderer until, at Arco, he met up with his half-brother, who offered him the job of cashier in his grocery store. After more flights and more returns, Segantini finally settled in Milan to attend classes at the Brera. In Milan he was able to earn a living by teaching art and painting portraits.
His first picture, The Choir of Sant Antonio was noticed for its powerful quality. After painting this, however, he shook himself free by degrees of academical teaching, as in his picture The Ship. He subsequently painted The Falconer and The Dead Hero, and then settled in Brianza, near Como. There he gave himself up to the study of mountain life, and became in truth the painter of the Alps.
At this time he painted the Ave Maria, which took a gold medal at the Amsterdam Exhibition (1883), Mothers, After a Storm in the Alps, A Kiss, and Moonlight Effect. Deeply impressed by Millet, the artist nevertheless quickly strove to reassert his individuality, as may be seen in “The Drinking-place,” which gained a gold medal in Paris (1889), In the Sheep-fold, By the Spinning-wheel, and Ploughing in the Engadine, for which he was awarded a gold medal at the Turin Exhibition (1892).
Besides those works in which he studied simple effects of light and Alpine scenery, such as Midday on the Alps and Winter at Savognino, he also painted symbolical subjects: The Punishment of Luxury, and the Unnatural Mothers (in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool). Segantini died in 1899 while working on his famous piece Alpentriptychon. An exhibition of his works was held in London, and afterwards at Brussels in 1899, and at Milan in 1900.

The Unnatural Mother (1894):

"Death," from the Alpine Triptych (c. 1898-99):

The Punishment of Lust, also known as The Punishment of Luxury (1891):

Ave Maria a trasbordo (1882):

L'angelo della vita (1894):

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Old 09-24-2009   #2
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Re: Giovanni Segantini (1858-1899)

Beautiful pictures. Thank you multiple times for sharing this artwork with us.

"Where I forgot myself in you,
you became thought..."
by Paul Celan
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Old 09-24-2009   #3
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Re: Giovanni Segantini (1858-1899)

The first one is definitely my favorite. Any artist who freed themselves from the conventions of their own culture before, say 1900, is worthy of admiration. This isn't to say there is anything amiss with traditional Mediterranean themes. They're one of the better traditions to draw subjects from in my opinion. It would've been nice though, if a lot of the talented painters and sculptors of perhaps the Renaissance, were able to break away and truly do their own thing from time to time. From what I know of Da Vinci himself, and not Dan Brown's Da Vinci, he may have tried subjects radically different from those of an orthodox religious nature if he were given the chance.
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Old 09-24-2009   #4
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Re: Giovanni Segantini (1858-1899)

Thanks for reinvigorating this old thread, Daisy, after I mistakenly started another one about the same artist!

Apparenty - I read that he was strongly of the belief that the only job for women in this world was motherhood and, if they didn't bear children, they sinned ... and that many of his paintings are depictions of punishment to those women who did not mother children.

I prefer the 'nemonymous' position, ignoring the extraneous, however. Looking at them as visions without a message.

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