Francesco Camarda ( Palermo 1866 – 1962 ), Lost
Oil on canvas cm 31 x 36 signed ( F. Camarda ) lower right.
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«At the last Palermo exhibition of ‘Pro Patria Ars’, the painter Francesco Camarda has been very successful with several animal models. ‘Lost’, of Palizziana’s strength, was acquired by that Modern Art Gallery». With this brief statement on the columns of the Emporium art magazine, in 1919 news was given about the success recorded by the Sicilian painter Camarda, defined by Marangoni as “an animalier of grace exquisite and a very powerful faculty of observation”, artist so appreciated by his contemporaries deserving a solo-show within the exhibition of the first centenary of the Amateurs and Cultors of Rome, held in 1931.
Just like his “Little lamb”, a small masterpiece purchased by the Palermo Municipal Gallery, this canvas oil represents an additional version, performed by the Sicilian master with the same “rare secret of the privileged artistic nature: that of knowing how to make the plastic qualities and picturesque of form”.
After the period of training at the Academy of Fine Arts in Palermo and Florence, Camarda in 1910 presented to the Pensionato in Rome the paintings “Teenager on the river” and “Workers that beat the iron on the anvil”, works that gave him the first prize, thus recording his first great success. Later, he participates in the main Italian and foreign exhibitions with paintings of figures or landscape subjects. The art of Camarda, of which many works are kept at the Galleria d’Arte Moderna in Palermo, escapes from every easy classification: a great designer and lively colorist, he dedicated himself to the figure, naked and portrait, and to the representation of animals, painting already brought to the dignity of “genre” by the Palizzi brothers, representatives of a painting as a investigation led by sense of truth that will have so much influence on other Sicilian painters, first of all Francesco Lojacono.
The works of Camarda, with a vague derivation of the Morellian style, are characterized by special exuberances in the form of chromatic accentuations of the Mediterranean mark and seem to represent “the conclusion of certain aspects of that pictorial-decorative tradition that in Sicily sank roots in the estrangers and clever frescos of 18th Century” (R.Collura).