Giorgio Lucchesi ( Lucca 1855 – 1941 ), Still life with grapes and mushrooms
Oil on canvas cm 57 x 81 signed ( G. Lucchesi ) and dated ( 1908 ) upper right.
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«Fruits paintings, in the case of Lucchesi, does not mean only dead nature. He began, unprecedentedly we know, to paint still fruit on the plant, in the open air: bunches of grapes sloping with juice and light from the twisted and knotted trunk of the vine, lonely or piercing against a cloudy and metallic sky; or thrashed against a worn, sunny wall. In this way he created a whole genre in which he united the matter of the still life with the framing of the landscape. At the same time, for the detached attitude assumed in front of the object, investigating subtly the quality of matter and color and putting it into space as elements of his natural character, he performed real portraits of fruit; he gave them in full-size, glittering in a luminous spatial depth, in huge canvases, showing that he wanted to raise the humble subject on the floor of the storyboard.
[…] From this moment of his first fruit pictures, we feel that Lucchesi has found his true way of artist, almost instinctively away both from the genres of fashion and academic precepts, after having found a strong study and passionate investigation a pictorial language that corresponds to the true natural so exactly as his Tuscan language corresponded to thought … In the real dead nature of fruit, the genre in which he had acquired an absolute mastery, the Nordic composition of the 16th century sometimes feels like the memory of a pattern that can vary as you please. But the diffused Mediterranean light in which they exalted and at times some humble objects of use only in Tuscany gave them a lively and unmistakable accent».
With these words, Luisa Marcucci focused herself in the monographic studio dedicated to the Tuscan painter, conducted in 1955, in the centenary of Lucchesi’s birth, on the attendance of the genre of still life by the Tuscan master, of which this superb composition with grapes and mushrooms incarnates one of the happiest results. Born in Lucca in 1855, Lucchesi from his childhood demonstrated his vocation for art. Joined the Lucca Academy of Fine Arts, he became a pupil and collaborator of Luigi Norfini, painter of battles and portraitist. Secluded, dodgy and lonely, he never wanted to leave his Lucca, even when he became known and appreciated painter through the exhibitions he attended: the Venice Biennals, the Internationals of Rome, Paris, Munich, the Turin Nationals, Milan, Palermo, Livorno. The exhibitions were often rewarded, as in Rome in 1895 – 96, curated by Adolfo Venturi. He was an ordinary member of the Lucchese Academy of Sciences, Arts and Literature, and he was passionate about the artistic and urban issues of his beloved city.