Basilio Cascella (Pescara 1860 – Rome 1950), Flora or Allegory of Spring
Oil on canvas cm 62,5 x 48 signed (B. Cascella) upper right
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Painter, lithographer and self-taught ceramist, proud of an artistic education alien to academic paths and only built through the practice of the profession, Basilio Cascella, who professed, first of all, lithographer, is not yet a signature in relation to merit and unjustly obscured by the prevailing fame of the Michettian star; in part, also penalized by the compromises with the regime – although its public commitment was then mainly directed to a reform of the artistic teaching -, documented by some great works celebrating Fascism. He learned in Rome, just fifteen years, that lithographic technique that will be his primary means of expression and, in painting, influenced by Neapolitan realism, after his debut in the field of illustration, established in Pescara in 1896 and founded a lithographic establishment, promoter, coordinator and the main architect of the Abruzzese illustration, through this periodical and other newspapers, he was recognized as the protagonist of the renewal of graphics in Italy between the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
He noticed updated liberty and symbolist cadences narrating the aspects of life and the customs of the people of Abruzzo, with more passionate tones than the idylic and festive interpretations of the countryman Michetti. In the more limited pictorial activity, which also includes portraits and landscapes, the prevailing subject matter is that of regional generatism, at least until 1906 – 1908 when, apart from the allegories celebrating the splendor of the 1930s regime, it neglected the work of easel, especially engaged in the artistic promotion of his sons Tommaso and Michele.
Therefore the paintings are very rare on the market: among them is the allegory of the Spring presented here, in which the subject’s delicacies are balanced by a pastel ductus that enhances the figure of the young woman, probably one of the many Abruzzese models used by the painter to popular his compositions.