Paese signed and dated 'O.ROSAI/XVI' (lower right) oil on canvas 50 x 70cm (19 11/16 x 27 9/16in).
PROVENANCE: Private collection, Italy
EXHIBITED: Florence, Mostra dell'opera di Ottone Rosai, May-June 1960, no.182
LITERATURE: Pier Carlo Santini, Rosai, Florence, 1960, ill.no.285
Born in Florence, Ottone Rosai was educated at the Institute of Decorative Arts and the Academy of Fine Arts from where he was dismissed after a disagreement with a teacher. In 1914 he was introduced to the futurist group of Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. He exhibited with them after the war and then adopted a figurative style. From the 1920s he dedicated himself to the description of everyday life, the human figure and still lifes. In the thirties the malaise of Rosai took him to live in isolated places, away from communities and his anger and pessimism are evident in his paintings. In 1932 a one man exhibition was mounted at the Palazzo Ferroni in Florence. Subsequent exhibitions followed in Milan, Rome and Venice. The present lot dates from 1938. It depicts la Campagna Toscana and is a typical classical landscape from this period with the street, wall, tree, house and the pink sky. Paese is beautiful and abstract in its simplicity. The use of color is harmonious where blue meets pink to form the sky and it demonstrates why landscape was amongst Rosai's favourite subjects.
There are 2 other versions of this lot. The first one dates from 1929 and the other one from 1936. According to Pier Carlo Santini this one is the most representative composition.