Angelo Morbelli (1853-1919), a passionate observer of reality, developed a unique artistic style that combined photographic compositional cuts and scientific experimentation with color. From as early as 1884 he adopted the Divisionist technique and combined it with studies on the light, which became increasingly central to his research, which was oriented toward a symbolic reinterpretation of the themes of reality. It is in this atmosphere that "S'avanza” or “It Advances," exhibited in Florence and Turin in 1896 and Dresden the following year, takes shape. A young woman gazes out over the hills of Rosignano, contemplating a landscape that expands, evaporating into refined fields of color. The seemingly serene atmosphere is charged, however, with ambiguous forms that insinuate a foreboding of death and that open up profound psychological suggestions. The painting evokes a symbolic representation of Death, felt and readable in the light cloud looming in the serene sky as a specter of death and in the character's sense of sadness and abandonment as she faces the sunset. The unusual format of the scene also connects this painting to Pre-Raphaelite compositions, the subject of the artist's long conversations with his friend Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo.


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