Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo
( Volpedo, Alessandria, 28 July 1868; d 14 June 1907).
came from a farming family and in 1884 began attending drawing
classes at the Accademia di Brera in Milan. He also began to
study painting, first with Giuseppe Puricelli (1832-94) and then
in 1886-7 with Pio Sanquirico (1847-1900), but in 1887 he broke
off his studies at the Brera and moved to Rome in order to
attend the Accademia di S Luca. He very soon became disappointed
by the teaching there, which he combined with attendance at the
life class at the Academie de France, and went to Florence,
where from 1888 he was a pupil of Giovanni Fattori at the
Accademia di Belle Arti. After a few months he returned to
Volpedo, where he began executing portraits and landscapes that
show the influence of the Macchiaioli in their limpid layers of
light and geometrically balanced compositions (e.g. Portrait of
the Poor Girl and the Piazza di Volpedo, both 1888; both priv.
cols; see Scotti, 1986, pl. nos 400, 403). In the autumn of
1888, wanting to consolidate his drawing skills, Pellizza moved
to Bergamo, where he studied under Cesare Tallone at the
Accademia Carrara di Belle Arti. In October 1889 he visited the
Exposition Universelle in Paris, but early in 1890 he returned
for two months to the Accademia Carrara.
Pellizza, considered a neo-impressionist artist, was a
divisionist painter - using small dots of paints according to
specific color theory.
he brought out The Fourth State, which had devoted ten years of
study and effort. The work, exhibited the following year to
Quadriennial Turin, did not obtain recognition hoped.
This rich, expressive work has become a
well-known symbol for progressive and socialist causes in Italy,
and throughout Europe.
In 1906 he was called to Rome, where he was able to sell only''''The
framework for the Gallery of Modern Art.
The artist committed suicide in his studio on the morning of 14
June 1907 after the death of his wife in childbirth and third