The painting of the German-Italian artist shows a crowded place: The abstract and stylized figures painted in earthy-brown and beige colors appear to merge partly into one another. Massimo Campigli was inspired by ancient Egyptian art as well as by the works of contemporary artists such as Fernand Léger and Pablo Picasso.
The painting is in very good condition consistent with the age. The varnish has been darkened and tiny craquelure can be seen overall. Scattered tiny retouched spots are along the edges and a slight rubbed spot affects the group of figures on the right side. The frame shows usual signs of wear and age and scattered pigment loss mainly at the upper edge.
Massimo Campigli (1895-1971)
Born as Max Ihlenfeldt in Berlin, Massimo Campigli grew up in Florence and moved to Milan in 1909 where he encountered the Futurists while working as a journalist. After his release as a prisoner of war during World War I, Campigli moved to Paris and began painting in the manner of Fernand Léger and Pablo Picasso with figures in sculptural and geometrical design. He frequently exhibited after his first show at the Bragaglia Gallery in Rome in 1923 while aligning himself with Novecento artists. It was not until 1928, however, when Campigli realized his distinctive style through a pivotal discovery of Etruscan art at the Roman Villa Giulia in 1928. These works were well-received in Paris and Milan galleries in 1929 and 1931, respectively, with a series of international solo exhibitions and large-scale commissions continuing into the 1930’s. In 1948, Campigli had a solo exhibition at the Venice Biennial and was honored with a retrospective in 1967 at the Palazzo Reale in Milan. His works are presented internationally at the Hermitage Museum, Museum of Modern Art, and Bilbao Fine Arts Museum. (msc)