Going to Madrid to see this exhibition: MACCHIAIOLI. Impressionist realism in Italy (from 12 september to 5 January at the Fundación Mapfre, Madrid)
Notes from their website:
In Florence, towards 1855, a group of young painters was undertaking a quest for a new kind of art. They were deeply opposed to both the academic style of painting and historic Romanticism, the contexts of their training, and were pursuing truthfulness in art, adopting outdoor painting as their preferred practice. In their paintings, small in size, but grandiose in their conception, these young painters created an authentic and innovative vision of the Tuscan landscape, with stark contrasts of light and shadow achieved through the juxtaposition of blotches of colour. Giovanni Fattori, Silvestro Lega, Telemaco Signorini, Giuseppe Abbati, Giovanni Boldini and Odoardo Borrani were among the main protagonists of the movement, all of them gathered around critic and patron Diego Martelli.
Known as the Macchiaioli (“blotch-makers”) – a name intended to be pejorative, alluding to the marked simplicity of their paintings – they were the instigators of one of the most brilliant chapters of the modernization of European painting, anticipating a significant number of the premises later proclaimed by the Impressionists.
Light and shadow, it still matters. It still has to matter somehow.