An eclipse of the sun caught in the instant when, out of total darkness, the first spark of light reemerges. The snow brimming over the lacelike stone carvings in Venetian alleyways. A view of a radiant Rome veiled in a light mist. Violent reflected glare, the absolute blackness of nightscapes, Venice and Rome "depicted" like no one had ever dared before, amid torches, fireworks and dramatically stormy skies. The story of an "artist-reporter" and his marked penchant for the pictorial rendition of exceptional or at least unusual natural spectacles. The story of an unceasing search for unlikely points of view that could tinge the ordinary with novelty, revealing its intriguing and evocative side. When it appeared that all had been said about the landscape outlined the entire range of expression of the so called "vedutismo" school, the city of Belluno reveals a new chapter of this saga by paying homage to one of its most talented sons, the patriot Ippolito Caffi.
Snow and Fog on the Grand Canal
The Rialto Bridge Venice
The Grand Canal near the Doge’s Palace
After training in Belluno and Padua, Caffi attended the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice between 1827 and 1831, studying under Teodoro Matteini, Francesco Bagnara and Tranquillo Orsi. On his move to Rome in 1832 he acquired immediate fame as a vedutista, displaying in his views an exceptional command of spatial construction and visual balance as well as a preference for unusual and new points of view, thus updating the veduta vocabulary inherited from Canaletto. His textbook on perspective, Lezioni di prospettiva pratica, was published in 1835. Extremely prolific and travelling extensively in Italy, the Orient and Europe, Caffi recorded his experiences in numerous sketches and received many commissions for paintings and frescoes throughout Italy. Hs works can be seen in museums in Venice, Turin and Trieste.
‘Il Tevere e Castel Sant'Angelo’
Panorama of Rome from Monte Mario
'Istmo di Suez - Venezia, Ca'Pesaro'
Carnival at Venice
His first work was produced at the Accademia in Venice. He subsequently moved to Rome, made some reputation by his treatise on perspective, as well as by his investigations on Roman archaeology. In 1843 he visited Greece and the East. The first work of his that created a sensation was Carnival at Venice. This was exhibited at Paris in 1846, and was admired for its brilliant effects of light. Other works are his Panorama of Rome from Monte Mario, Isthmus of Suez, and Close of the Carnival at Rome. He joined revolutionary movements in Venice in 1848, and had to retire into Piedmont. His aim of commemorating in paint the first Italian naval engagement was frustrated when the Rè d Italia, on which he traveled was destroyed at the battle of Lissa, drowning him along with his comrades.
(Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
'Strada Principale del Cairo'
'Il Vento Simun Nel Deserto Egiziano'
Images from artribune.com
Caffi is a highly fascinating artist and romantic figure, among the greatest and most original vedutisti of 19th-century Italy. During his short yet intense lifetime he achieved great fame and admiration, his landscapes and other works of art taking on a European dimension and breadth that make him similar to Corot. Yet in addition to being one of the most acclaimed artists of his time, Caffi was also a bold, restless person, an adventurous soul, an untiring traveler and a devoted patriot with his involvement in the movements of 1848-49, Austrian persecution and the Third War of Independence.
(WEB GALLERY OF ART at wga.hu)