In Bologna, the painting of Augusto Majani: an exhibition to update studies on his production

From December 4, 2021 to January 30, 2022, Palazzo d'Accursio in Bologna is dedicating an exhibition to Augusto Majani, an artist active between the 19th and 20th centuries. The exhibition aims to investigate the artist's pictorial production in order to update studies on his work.

From December 4, 2021 to January 30, 2022, Palazzo d’Accursio in Bologna presents the exhibition Augusto Majani (1867-1959). The Power of the Idea. Curated by Francesca Sinigaglia and promoted by Associazione Bologna per le Arti, the exhibition aims to investigate for the first time in depth the artist’s pictorial production in order to update studies on his work.

On display are about ninety works, including canvases and panels, from his early works to the 1950s, many of them from important Italian museum institutions, such as the Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna, Istituzione Bologna Musei | MAMbo - Museo d’Modern Art in Bologna, General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic, the Giuseppe Garibaldi Historical Museum in Como, Art and History Collections of the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna, the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna, from the Pinacoteca civica “Domenico Inzaghi” in Budrio, the artist’s hometown, and from numerous private collections.

Born in Budrio in 1867, the son of merchants, Majani trained in Bologna and then in Rome and had an excellent career in both graphic and pictorial fields, thanks to his great versatility. In Rome, in particular, he had the opportunity to approach artists of international importance who were serving their apprenticeships in the city, such as the watercolorists Coleman and Carlandi, but especially Giulio Aristide Sartorio, of whom Majani was a great admirer. Awarded the title of Accademico d’Onore by the Accademia di Belle Arti in Bologna and a painter appreciated by the most illustrious artists of his time, the artist approached Italian Divisionism and was also influenced by Symbolism.

His career could be divided into four moments: his formative years between 1884 and 1894; between 1895 and 1924 he took part in national and international exhibitions, from the Società Francesco Francia to the Venice Biennale, and exhibited in Turin, Rome, Brussels, and Florence, with a particular interest in themes of the social and the divine. From 1924, his frequentation of the Romagnoli coasts led him to elaborate a new poetics linked to meditations on the human datum, filtered through local tradition. After 1950, following his move to Buttrio (Udine), he continued his pictorial research focusing on reflections on peasant and rural scenes, with a renewed attention to the landscape of the Friulian territory. Majani worked for a long time on paintings of historical-social inspiration (well-known is the so-called Trittico garibaldino, or Mentana, intense narratives of the adventures of the Thousand), developing a vivid feeling of the last, becoming passionate about workers’ issues, the idea of social belonging, and finally measuring himself also with religious themes. However, it was the simplicity of man lived in everyday life that attracted his definitive interest. As an artist he was best known for his goliardic caricatures of characters and playful situations of Bolognese life.

"With the exhibition Augusto Majani (1867 - 1959). The Power of the Idea,“ says curator Francesca Sinigaglia, ”it was finally possible to realize a dutiful update regarding the artist’s pictorial production, which is less considered and often limited to the same level as his graphic work, traditionally far more titled and recognized. His stylistic mark is recognizable through a massive use of outlines combined with a rhythmic and lively brushstroke, a clear appreciation towards a lowered point of view and the possibility of varying with colors the tones of each touch, so that through light the single stroke can have its own flicker of transcendence."

For info:

Hours: Tuesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Closed Friday mornings and Mondays.

Free admission.

Image: Augusto Majani, Mountain Summer (1912; oil on canvas; 98 x 200 cm).

In Bologna, the painting of Augusto Majani: an exhibition to update studies on his production
In Bologna, the painting of Augusto Majani: an exhibition to update studies on his production

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