Bassano Grassi (1882-1924) does not directly benefit the Ospedale Maggiore. Son of a hotelier, orphaned when he was only three years old when his father, in Naples for business, dies of cholera. He marries very young Irene Sburlati and starts a trade in sewing machines. The couple has a son, Franco, who will die just twenty years old. The father dies six years before the young man. After the death of her son, Irene Sburlati donated 200,000 lire to the Ospedale Maggiore for the construction of the new Niguarda Hospital, asking for the portrait not for herself but for her two loved ones. For the portrait of his son he suggests the name of Leopolodo Galeota Russo, for that of her husband that of Giuseppe Amisani, after having rejected three artists proposed by the Artistic Commission. Amisani takes the form of Bassano Grassi from a photograph and portrays in his office, sitting next to his desk, alluding to his business. In harmony with the taste of his faithful Milanese client, in this case the painter reproposes the model of bourgeois portrait spread by Lombard late Roman painters.


  • Title: Portrait of Bassano Grassi
  • Creator: Giuseppe Amisani
  • Creator Lifespan: 1879/1941
  • Date Created: 1936/1937
  • Location Created: Milano
  • Physical Dimensions: h 200, w 120 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: oil
  • Art Genre: Portrait
  • Support: plywood
  • Inv.: Ritratti 000574

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps