Masterpiece 2020: Online
22 June 2020
Massimo Campigli, 1895-1971
L’Incontro. No 2. The Meeting.
Original etching with touches of engraving, in black ink. 1932. Signed in pencil. Annotated in pencil by Campigli: ‘Noël 1932’ (Christmas 1932).Exceptionally rare proof. No edition.
The catalogue raisonné of Campigli’s graphic work by Francesco Meloni records only one known impression of this work.
Note: It is not clear whether this impression is the one catalogued by Meloni in 1995 or another that has come to light. The work was etched by Campigli in 1932 as a Christmas greeting but apparently never used.
Ref: Meloni – Campigli Catalogue of the Graphic Work of Campigli no 8.
Superb rich impression with plate surface textures and tonal inking. On pale cream light etching paper. Plate: 192 x 160mm. Sheet: 248 x 175mm.
Massimo Campigli was one of the great artists of the Italian ‘Pitura Metafisica’ circle. Their imagery of figures and patterns had a great influence on Surrealist painters in the 1930’s, especially in Paris. Campigli had very early associations with Futurism (through poetry rather than art) but at the beginning of the 20’s he moved to Paris forming a loose group with De Chirico, Severini and Mario Sironi for example.
In 1928 he had a revelation through the discovery of the Etruscan wall-paintings in the Roman Villa Giulia. The manner in which Campigli grouped them, creating an almost abstract arrangement of geometric shapes and surface patterns, inspired some of his greatest works in which he linked visual interpretation with metaphysical atmosphere.
Impressions of the few known early 1930's compositions using these ideas in a print medium are extremely rare.
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