Cari Amici (Dear Friends),
Hello. Back in May I wrote about one of my favorite sculptures in the Bargello Museum in Florence, Italy. He is Il Pescatore (The Fisher Boy) by Vincenzo Gemito
Imagine my delight to be in the museum honoring the birthplace of sculptor Michelangelo in the village of Caprese Michelangelo and finding more work by another sculptor whose work had impressed me! Among the other exhibits in the museum, there was a section on the Napoliteano artists, as collected by Enrico Guidoni.
I am being lazy today (well, actually a bit distracted since I want to get back to my art-making. So here is what the museum write-up said (I photograph these things sometimes to help me not misquote or misremember something):
Gemito and the Neapolitans
Displayed in the adjoining small room is Guidoni’s Collection of artists from the area of Naples [Italy]. Among these, for the number of preserved works, stand out those of Vincenzo Gemito (Naples 1852-1929). The sculptures of Gemito presented here in the museum are in large part made from bronze, some of these being unpublished. This great sculptor is noted for his wonderful small bronzes that often represent the most recurring popular Neapolitan themes: the little fisherman, the rascal, the old man and the woman of the people. His works are characterized with a strongly expressed realism and an extraordinary production capacity typical of the Neapolitan schools of the period.
Two graphic works by Vincenzo Gemito, a Self Portrait (oil on paper) [1908, detail shown here] and an important otherwise unknown sketch Portrait of Charles V, shows Gemito to be an excellent designer with a classical upbringing yet impulsive, nervous and stiff at the same time.
Alongside the works of Gemito are displayed those of other noted Neapolitan artists, such as De Martino, D’Antino, Barbella, Cataldi and De Matteis. The latter named artist, little known in the history of art, aroused the collectors interest in Enrico Guidoni, who dedicated particulare attention to the collection of his works and the study of the artist.
I include here some snapshots of other compositions of fisherboys that appear to be done after 1876 when the Bargello’s Il Pescatore was completed by Gemito. The first sculpture is titled L’Acquaiolo - 1880, while the last two were both given the same title (“Pescatorello”) with no date given.
Enjoy! And DO visit Caprese Michelangelo in the province of Arezzo, Italy.