Project Description

Domenico Bresolin (Padova 1813 – Venice 1890), Arno shore in Florence

Oil on canvas applied on panel cm 26 x 40.


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  • D. Ritter, Venedig in frühen Photographien von Domenico Bresolin. ‘Pittore Fotografo’, catalogue of the exhibition held at Schack-Galerie, Munchen, 14 November 1996 – 16 February 1997, p. 202.
  • Catalogo dell’arte italiana dell’Ottocento, Giorgio Mondadori & Associati, nr. 14, p. 161.

Settled in Venice, where he trained at the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice with G. Borsato, T. Orsi and F. Bagnara, after brief stays in Florence and Rome, Domenico Bresolin, who was welcomed on May 13, 1830 among the “members of art “of the Venetian Academy of Fine Arts, he devoted himself to photography as a functional study tool for improving the outcomes of painting, especially in the field of perspective and verisimilitude. Bresolin performs high quality photographic prints, characterized by an extreme compositional rigor, which recall monuments and Venetian palaces with the spirit of a systematic photographic recording, making use initially of the calotype technique and subsequently of wet collodion negatives. In 1864, appointed professor of Landscape at the Academy, he abandoned his work as a photographer to devote himself exclusively to painting and gave his own archive of plates to the photographer Carlo Ponti.


His way of painting that influenced among other artists such as G. Ciardi, G. Favretto, L. Nono, A. Milesi and E. Tito, was not finished according to the most widespread taste in the time, but it was rather strongly chiaroscuro, with uneven brushstrokes, almost in impression, with sunset lights and suggestive reflections. In fact, Bresolin had initially tried to adopt pictorial techniques very similar to those adopted later by the Macchiaioli. Nevertheless his name was soon forgotten: many of his paintings, in commerce and in collections, have been attributed to G. Ciardi. But the great development assumed by the study of the landscape, in the Veneto, at the end of the century. XIX and the beginning of the XX, it is also due to the passion that the modest and tenacious Bresolin was able to infuse in the school. This is demonstrated by the series of three oils presented here, depicting those with the latest dating, dating back to 1842, two Venetian squeri, or the typical construction sites of the lagoon where rowing boats are built; while the last one, datable to the five-year period 1843-48, a foreshortening with a Tuscan landscape along the course of the Arno, probable testimony of the study stay conducted by the Venetian painter in Florence with C. Markò senior. The three works can constitute a significant anticipation of the new model of painting marked by resigned subjects and by a committed realistic research.

Paintings by Bresolin, results of the painting practice conducted en plein air by the Venetian artist, are located in Este (Tasinato and Giarretta collections), in Padua (Popular cooperative bank) and in Venice (Modern art gallery).