Finestra sul lago signed 'F. CASORATI.' (lower centre right) oil on board 59.3 x 48.5cm (23 3/8 x 19 1/8in). Painted circa 1949
PROVENANCE Galleria Grissi, Turin. Acquired by the present owner circa 1980s.
LITERATURE G. Bertolino and F. Poli, Felice Casorati. Catalogo generale. I dipinti (1904-1963), Turin, 1995, p. 400, no. 853 (illustrated).
This work is registered in the Felice Casorati Archives, Turin, under the number 640.
'My art is born, so to speak, from within, and never has its source in changing "impressions", it is quite natural that ... static forms, and not the fluid images of passion, should be reflected in my works'. (Felice Casorati quoted in E. Cowling and J. Mundy On Classic Ground: Picasso, Léger, de Chirico and the New Classicism 1910-1930, London, 1990, p. 64).
Finestra sul lago depicts Lake Iseo in Northern Italy where Felice Casorati and his wife Daphne holidayed. Constructed through a framework of bold outlines and complementary fields of colour, the composition is a stylised reimagining of the lake-side view in the summer months. The near verticals of the window frame deliberately correspond to the boats' masts to create a sense of rhythm and depth, while the patchwork of muted blues and greens combine with the lilac, crimson and citron of the foreground to present a compositionally harmonic scene.
Finestra sul lago is formally typical of the works from Casorati's later period in which he moved away from the more rigid, spatial compositions of the previous decade towards freer construction utilising a brighter and richer palette as a means of expression. In this painting the psychological intensity detected in his earlier work gives way to a more serene and lyrical rendering of the view, in accordance with the general theme of his subject. Yet Casorati's propensity towards an emphasis on form rather than detail persists. Painted in the years that followed the Second World War, and in conjunction with his conviction that art is born from within, with Finestra sil lago Casorati projects an internal conceptualisation of a world in peacetime, far removed from the horrors of conflict that had pervaded the preceding years.
Just three years after the execution of this painting Casorati was to receive the Premio Speciale della Presidenza at the Venice Biennale as an acknowledgement of his outstanding contribution to the arts in Italy.