Llewelyn Lloyd (Livorno 1879 – Florence 1949), The wall
Oil on panel cm 15 x 25,5 signed lower left.
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Comin from a Welsh family, Llewelyn Lloyd was born in Livorno and was one of the last exponents of the lively foreign communities that animated Tuscany until the 1920s. He was an artist and a shy man, far from the new course that followed the Great War; sincere lover of the Tuscan landscape, he was among the most inspired singers.
Undoubtedly, his origins as a painter converge towards the movement of the Macchiaioli: in his native city, from 1894 he was a pupil of the painter Guglielmo Micheli, together with Amedeo Modigliani, Oscar Ghiglia and Gino Romiti. At the end of the nineteenth century, Livorno was still a culturally vibrant city, frequented by Giovanni Fattori who returned periodically from Florence, but also by Corcos, Benvenuti, Cappiello, and the artistic climate was constantly updated on the basis of new currents. The lesson of Plinio Nomellini, who had introduced the Divisionism in Tuscany, made his weight felt even on the young Lloyd, who, if by the master Micheli had inherited the propensity to paint landscapes, from the other fellow, already an established painter, absorbed the overcoming the stain – despite his talent had impressed the same Fattori, who had invited him to Florence to follow his lessons at the Academy of Fine Arts.
Despite being able to boast these origins, Lloyd, like his younger colleagues, showed a certain impatience with the pure and simple naturalism that had marked the epic of the bush; on the basis of Decadentism – which in Tuscany will have its best episodes in the Versilia stays of Gabriele d’Annunzio -, just as in the restless feeling of a Europe that was heading towards modernity, the mere description of nature represented a limit to interpret the mood of the new times. In these terms, Lloyd’s adherence to the divisionist current, which was not orthodox, should be read; its colors are in fact predominantly warm, characterized by even bold contrasts, as shown in the painting presented here, in which the pasty brushstroke and the material ductus of the painter coexist with the reference, especially in spatial layout, to the painting “La vendetta” by Giovanni Fattori.
From the second half of the Twenties, and until the end of his career (which occurred with his death in 1949), Lloyd’s painting did not experience any other turning points. He remained in fact completely foreign to the avant-gardes (including Cézanne, but not Cubism, for example), and although he frequented Florence, he had no contact with the Futurists. A painter of tradition, he was also a soul painter, linked to liberal Umbertine Italy; the Great War, Fascism, the Second World War, touched it only by reflex, as events which it was impossible to escape, but which were not obligatory to adhere to.