Felice Casorati





Felice Casorati was born in Novara on 4 December 1883 into a family that had given famous mathematicians and scientists to Italy. During a period of rest in Praglia, on the Euganean hills, he began to paint, making his first known work, a Paduan landscape from 1902. In 1907 he was present for the first time at the Venice Biennale with the Portrait of a lady (Portrait of his sister Elvira ). He returns again to the Biennale of 1909 and 1910; on this occasion he was strongly impressed by the room dedicated to Gustav Klimt. The symbolic style and decoration of the Viennese Secession influenced in a decisive way the subsequent works of Casorati. From 1908 to 1911 he lived in Naples, from 1911 to 1915 in Verona, where he joined the Ca 'Pesaro group, with Rossi and Martini. At the end of the war he moved to Turin, immediately becoming a leading figure in the intellectual avant-garde of the city (he was a friend of Piero Gobetti, who wrote a monographic essay on him in 1923). In his first phase of chromatic-linear research he made use of the indications of Puvis de Chavannes, the Pre-Raphaelites, Hans von Marées and the vein of Nordic figurativism with an idealizing root, grafting them on the suggestions of the Jugendstil. Starting from 1919, in contact with metaphysical painting, he confirmed his classic idea of ​​the image and gave life to an art of great static forms, of extreme simplicity and severity, framed in a strictly cubic perspective space and underlined by the absolute balance of the chromatic masses (Eggs on the chest of drawers, 1920; Attesa, 1921, Turin, Casorati Coll.). Casorati's classicism does not arise from an ahistorical regret for a lost past, and his research is detached from the formulations of "Plastic Values." Style, intended as a severe intellectual control of form, is the root of his classicism. Subsequently, Casorati began a process of tempering the melancholy coldness of the first work and, by introducing a less sharp brightness to the work, he gave it new emotional implications (Venere blond, 1934, Paris, Mus. Nat. D'Art Mod.). Also deepen his interest in design and applied arts: among other things he designed the Piccolo Teatro di Casa Gualino in Tornio, the "commercial street" (with Sartoris) at the Biennale of decorative arts in Monza (1927), the atrium of the architecture exhibition at the Milan Triennale (1933). He died on 1 March 1963 in Turin.