Dated 1868, this work was produced one year after Filippo Palizzi’s success at the Paris Exposition Universelle with After the Deluge (Naples,Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte). It was in this period that the artist’s work in genre and landscape painting reached full maturity, combining first-hand investigation of nature with the study of French art. His knowledge of the latter was obtained during numerous stays in Paris but also through his brother, Giuseppe Palizzi, who lived in France for some years and was in contact with the Barbizon School. Jean-François Millet, one of the leading figures in this group, treated the theme of the seasons in a series of works, one of which, Le Printemps, can be seen in Paris at the Musée d’Orsay. Palizzi deals with the same allegorical subject in a rural setting probably inspired by the countryside around Cava de’ Tirreni, where he was in the habit of painting from life. The depiction of groups of children playing together and with animals alludes to the reawakening of nature at the first signs of spring. While the seasons and children playing are also featured in other works such as Spring (formerly in the Mancusi Collection), which shows a shepherd and his flock, and Urchins Chasing a Donkey (1872, Florence, Palazzo Pitti, Galleria d’Arte Moderna), the painting in the Cariplo Collection treats these subjects in a composition of greater complexity. Palizzi places a series of minor episodes in the scenic setting of a broad landscape developed around a blossoming rosebush to create an interwoven scene of great vivacity. Combining free brushstrokes with sensitivity to light effects, he captures even the smallest details of this landscape on the canvas, from the bright new colours of the budding trees to the delicate nuances of the sky and the thick or wispy clouds. The painter was to abandon these large landscapes, whose meticulous execution proved very demanding, for scenes of a more intimate nature in later years.


  • Title: Spring
  • Creator: Filippo Palizzi
  • Creator Lifespan: 1818/1899
  • Creator Nationality: Italian
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Naples
  • Creator Birth Place: Vasto, Chieti
  • Date: 1868/1868
  • Signature, Inscription: Filippo Palizzi 1868
  • Physical Dimensions: w108,5 x h83,5 cm (Without frame)
  • Exhibition: Gallerie d'Italia, Piazza Scala, 6, Milano
  • Provenance: Cariplo Foundation, 1984
  • Type: Painting, oil on canvas
  • Rights: http://www.artgate-cariplo.it/en/disclaimer.html
  • External Link: www.artgate-cariplo.it

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