Giovanni Biasin (Venezia 1835 – Rovigo 1912), Italian Risorgimento series
Corpus consisting of four tempera on oval paper, each 33 x 28 cm, signed (Giu Biasin) in the lower center and on the left.
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The figure of Giovanni Biasin emerged with discreet relief in Venetian art of the second half of the nineteenth century thanks to the recovery and presentation, in 2011, of his “Panorama of Venice”, a 20-meter-long roll of paper painted in tempera by the Venetian painter, conserved at the Pinacoteca of Accademia dei Concordi, depicting the banks of Venice seen from the San Marco basin. It is no coincidence that the artist’s rediscovery took place precisely in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy, for which Biasin, like many others, had spent his energies and hopes, animating the city life of Rovigo especially in the years immediately following the annexation to the Kingdom of Italy and in those that coincide with the construction of the Nation.
Even the works presented here, four ovals painted in tempera on paper give us back the Risorgimento passion of the Venetian painter: in fact, the protagonists of this corpus of works are the myths of the Italian Risorgimento like Giuseppe Garibaldi, immortalized by the painter in one of the moments that marked the feat of the Thousand, which started from Quarto; Vittorio Emanuele II of Savoy, evoked by the triumphalistic slogan written by young Italian patriots on the chipped wall of a country cottage, celebrated with the nickname “King gentleman” for keeping the Albertine Statute in force; Porta Pia, a symbol of the annexation of Rome to the Kingdom of Italy by virtue of the famous episode of the breach that determined the end of the Papal States as a historical – political entity.
Giovanni Biasin was born in 1835 in Venice, where he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts. Dedicated immediately to painting, he achieved a certain notoriety when, in 1863, Antonio Gobbatti met him and called him to Rovigo to decorate the hall of his palace. He was a notable figure for his commitment in public life: commander of the Civic Guard in 1848, long-time president of the Theater Company, he participated in the expedition of the Thousand. Biasin paints the Chariot of Apollo on the ceiling and on the walls scenes with Zeffiro and Flora, Cerere and Trittolemo, Bacchus and Ariadne and the Rape of Proserpina. They are paintings that can still be seen in the Gobbatti palace and, even if seriously damaged, reveal a sure painter, turned to neoclassicism, probably conditioned by the client. The work was appreciated and procured other commissions in other buildings in Biasin, in addition to being a drawing teacher in technical schools. A task that led him to leave Venice and settle in Rovigo, inserting himself well into city life, militating in popular movements and becoming a city councilor.