Portrait of Pietro Ronzoni

Giovanni Carnovali1825/1825

Fondazione Cariplo

Fondazione Cariplo

A successful landscape painter, Pietro Ronzoni was very active in Verona from 1815 to 1824, where he executed commissions for a cultured international clientele. He met Il Piccio through the then director of the Carrara Academy, Giuseppe Diotti, when he returned to his native Bergamo and settled there for good. Executed in 1825, the portrait shows Ronzoni in a three-quarter pose as he looks at the viewer, his face partly obscured by the dark shadow cast by the brim of the artist’s hat he is wearing, and by his curly hair and long side-whiskers that were the fashion then. The light striking the figure creates a strong chiaroscuro that heightens the lively naturalism and remarkable freshness of the portrait. The mountainous landscape fading into the distance seems to allude to Ronzoni’s specialising in views. Since the artist was on familiar terms with the sitter, he was able to adopt a new pictorial freedom and to depart from the austerity that characterised his Neoclassical portraits of the cultured Bergamo collectors who gravitated to the Carrara Academy. The firm friendship between these two artists of different generations, is evident also from a painting of 1947 (Bergamo, private collection), in which Il Piccio depicts the then elderly Ronzoni wearing an artist’s smock and holding a palette and brushes, and by a later version executed in 1858 (Bergamo, Banca Popolare di Bergamo-Credito Varesino).

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  • Title: Portrait of Pietro Ronzoni
  • Creator: Giovanni Carnovali, known as Piccio
  • Date: 1825/1825
  • Signature, Inscription: Carnovali detto Piccio / Dipinse il suo amico Ronzoni / l'anno 1825
  • Physical Dimensions: w30 x h37 cm (Without frame)
  • Exhibition: Gallerie d'Italia, Piazza Scala, 6, Milano
  • Provenance: Cariplo Foundation, 1997
  • Type: Painting, oil on panel
  • Rights: http://www.artgate-cariplo.it/en/disclaimer.html
  • External Link: www.artgate-cariplo.it