Beppe Ciardi (Venice 1875 – Quinto di Treviso 1932), Punta della dogana
Oil on panel cm 15 x 15, signed and dated (1910) on the back.
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“It is above all in portraying the countryside, who knows, understands and loves as few know it and can really understand and love it and where it spends most of the year, when Beppe Ciardi excels.” With these words, Vittorio Pica in 1912 from the columns of «Emporium» he exalted the palette of the Venetian painter and, in particular, the scenes of rural setting that gave Ciardi the possibility of experimenting with very bright colors and strong contrasts, making a more unscrupulous use of light and color, compared to his father Guglielmo and his sister Emma, with whom he formed a family of artists, able to write the history of Venetian painting at the turn of the two centuries, renewing it in the chromatic values and in the formal connections. The predisposition to experiment with unpublished Beppe chromatic solutions on the canvas derives from his father, but still tries to develop his own artistic personality, renewing his pictorial language, especially in the subjects. In the unreal it seeks reality, as in the illusions that are created between the sky and the waters during the different hours of the day, especially in the hours of dawn and sunset, on the Venetian lagoon, it seems that everything becomes the creation of fantasy. To reach these atmospheres, the painter sometimes thickens the chromatic pastes of his paintings, perhaps under the influence of his contemporary colleagues in the Venetian biennials.
This is the result obtained by looking at this small format table, in which Beppe represents the tip of the customs, the famous area of Venice consisting of a thin triangular point placed between the Grand Canal and the Giudecca Canal, facing the San Marco Basin, with its three important architectural complexes: the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute, the patriarchal seminary and the Dogana da Mar complex, from which the area takes its name. The foreshortening is outlined by Ciardi with large, material and broad and vibrant brushstrokes: once again Beppe proves to be a “lyrical poet of the brush”, his impressions from life are hymns to nature, they communicate the emotion of painting en plein- air.
Thus we find in this painting what was affirmed by G. Perocco, about his painting: «In Beppe’s paintings the vast opening of the sky and the clouds over the landscape on the distant horizon line, which brings the immense image into an enlarged space of fantasy. Of which the suggestion to solitude and contemplation, especially since few sketchy elements emerge from the earth or the sea, all detached from the eyes of the artist with the predominance of the space around always “.