Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Bella Nella

Nella Marchesini "Self Portrait with Hat" 1925 location unknown


Nella Marchesini (1901-1953) was an Italian painter who spent most of her life in and around Turin, in the Piedmont region. The city of Turin is culturally rich and diverse, known for its numerous art galleries, museums, opera houses, theatres and other attractions.

Nella Marchesini "The Family - or, with the Support of Parents" 1930   location unknown
Marchesini was brought up in a close-knit intellectual family and with her siblings was very happily home-schooled in a variety of subjects. In 1920 she began studying with the Turin painter Felice Casorati and began shortly after that to be identified with the Scuolo di Casorati with whom she exhibited on many occasions and with whom she is primarily grouped as an artist. This painting "...with the Support of Parents" depicts Marchesini at the easel with her father and mother in attendance. This piece was exhibited at the Venice Bienniale in 1930.

Marchesini married painter Ugo Malvano in 1930. Malvano was from a Jewish family and with the rise of fascism in Italy in the 1930's the artist couple's life became more and more harassed and circumscribed by the racial laws, which were hostile to Jews. The couple retreated from the city into the wilder, hilly, countryside around Turin to escape the day-to-day oppression as best they could. During this period Marchesini worked on small paintings, mainly landscapes, and also focused more on her writing, both prose and poetry. Malvano died in 1952. Marchesini spent a good deal of energy organizing a large retrospective of his work. Her health began to deteriorate and she died the following year at age 52. She was all but forgotten in the annals of art history but there has been a rediscovery of her work in recent decades.
Nella Marchesini Painting in the Mountains, Piedmont, Italy



2 comments:

Marianne said...

Gosh - you can see what a product of her time she was - the colors of Morandi, the mood of Di Chirico,and even some remnants of Cubism. Very interesting. Sad she died so young.

Elaine Lisle said...

Fascinating Nancy Bea! I especially love her self portrait...