Paessaggio in Brianza signed and dated 'C Carrà 956' (lower left) oil on canvas 40 x 30cm (15 3/4 x 11 13/16in). Painted in 1956
PROVENANCE Pasqualino Rescigno, Salerno. L'Incontro Libreria Galleria d'Arte, Salerno. Galleria D'Arte La Borgognona, Rome. G. Zanini Arte Contemporanea, Italy.
EXHIBITED Acqui Terme, Palazzo Liceo Saracco, Il Paesaggio di Carrà, 13 July - 8 September 1996, no.47.
LITERATURE M. Carrà, Carrà tutta l'opera pittorica, 1951-1966, Milan, 1968, vol.III, p.577, no.15/56 (illustrated p.233).
Carrà's oeuvre moved through late Impressionist, Futurist, and Metaphysical phases, evolving into a 'lyric realism' which first appeared in the early 1920s and lasted until his death in 1966. He was intimately involved in the intellectual debates of the time, on the essence of painting and the function of Italian modern art and, in keeping with the development of these debates, he moved away from the Classicist and Fascist rhetoric of the Novecento movement to embrace expressive seascapes and desolate landscapes.
Painted in 1956, Paesaggio in Brianza is a late example of this lyrical realism. Using a composition similar to his earlier works, he depicts a sunny day in a typical North Italian landscape. Surrounded by cornfields, small white houses stand at the bottom of verdant hills dominated by a medieval castle. The formal simplicity of the composition conveys a sense of stillness and peace which transcends the physicality of the natural environment and gestures towards a deeper essence expressed in the painting itself. Drawing on the tradition of Giotto, Carrà articulates an emphasis on representation while simultaneously incorporating contemporary theories of form and colour to create landscapes which have both the spirituality of Giotto's frescos and the materiality of Cézanne's landscapes: 'The representational nature of Italian art tells us that the artist has the necessity, first of all, of the object. But from the object he derives that essence which transcends its exteriority.' (Carlo Carrà quoted in M. Carrà, Carrà: tutta l'opera pittorica, 1951-1966, Milan, 1968, vol.III, p.11).