Cosmo Canzi (1865-1938), son of the owner of a precision scale factory, works with his father, studies in the evening, and at the age of eighteen volunteers with the Grenadiers of Sardinia and, on his return, continues to lead the paternal company successfully, helped also by his wife Bice Fortini. It is said that the couple, during a visit to the exhibition of the paintings of the Festa del Perdono, have matured the idea of ​​benefiting the Ospedale Maggiore. Taking advantage of the imminent wedding anniversary (their "silver wedding") they decide to get the mutual gift of a portrait of Ambrogio Alciati. A few years after the death of her husband, in 1943, Bice Fortini destined 100,000 liras to the hospital in the name of both and sent, along with the legacy, also the two portraits for the Quadreria Ospedale. The two paintings are "en pendant". This one of Cosmo depicts him in a dark suit, against a black backdrop; there are no specific details, the chromatic sobriety is absolute and all the attention is focused on the particular position of the figure, which almost seems to "come out of the canvas" and to meet the viewer and the bright expressive face with an intense gaze, illuminated even by the few white brushstrokes of the shirt.


  • Title: Portrait of Cosmo Canzi
  • Creator: Ambrogio Alciati
  • Creator Lifespan: 1878/1929
  • Date Created: 1915
  • Location Created: Milano
  • Physical Dimensions: h 90, w 75 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: oil
  • Art Genre: Portrait
  • Support: canvas
  • Inv.: Ritratti 000678

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