More than 100 masterpieces document the highly emotive world of the Macchiaioli, a world whose essence tells of the values of man, heroic, indefatigable man, his strength and courage, his will to start again day after day in the face of any difficulty. Independent, revolutionary spirits, impassioned with patriotic fervour and firm in their affections, the Macchiaioli painted that which the “real” offered their eyes. Mention must be made of the Caffè Michelangiolo in Florence, epicentre of their ideas, their battles for the assertion of a new aesthetic that would place man, reality and nature at the centre. The Macchiaioli knew how to capture the emotions and values of man in every single moment of daily life, every smile or human effort, every landscape and unsullied nature. Full of dreams and vital emotions, strengthened by a powerful and true spirit that always opposes death, the man of today is also a “macchiaiolo” man, able to grasp life in a full, total and profoundly heroic way. Signorini’s Fishmongers, The Haberdasher of La Spezia, Fattori’s Greengrocer, Cabianca’s Ladies in the Sun, Lega’s Girls playing at Ladies, the people at the market in Via del Fuoco, Banti’s glowing mothers full of life, the children caught sleeping, Adriano Cecioni’s woman reading a newspaper: the people featured in the splendid works being shown at the Palazzo Zabarella from 24 October to 18 April 2021 are you, the men and women of today, Macchiaioli yesterday, Macchiaioli today; tireless, full of emotions and life force. What does Macchiaiolo mean? Macchiaiolo is synonymous with “life”; the life that is the very power of love, which pervades all things and opposes death, radiating everywhere the light of Being.
The Macchiaioli already knew in the nineteenth century how to see beyond; their deep and human feeling is a glorification of every single moment of daily life. They anticipated Monet, van Gogh, Gauguin... in their way of portraying and highlighting the human relationship in all its real value, in all its “heroism”.
An exhibition on the Macchiaioli, so well loved and popular, but with many secrets yet to be revealed, many stories and people to be discovered, seems more than ever in keeping with a cultural season of “starting again” for our entire country. It is an exhibition-event intended to reopen an important chapter in our artistic history - that of the Macchiaioli, precisely - and enrich it by means of new points of view and rigorous scientific research, through often neglected sources; that represented by a good number of collectors and patrons, a dense network woven around well-known masters like Silvestro Lega, Giovanni Fattori, Giovanni Boldini and Telemaco Signorini, and others, less known but no less significant, such as Adriano Cecioni, Odoardo Borrani, Raffaello Sernesi and Vincenzo Cabianca. This exhibition, curated by Giuliano Matteucci and Fernando Mazzocca will be presented at the Palazzo Zabarella in Padua: “I MACCHIAIOLI. Capolavori dell’Italia che risorge” will open on 24 October 2020 and close on 18 April 2021.