The Life of Amedeo Bocchi


La famiglia Bocchi (1904) by AnonimoAPE Parma Museum

Amedeo Bocchi was born on 24 August 1883 in Parma, where he attended the Institute of Fine Arts directed by Cecrope Barilli.

Torre di San Giovanni (1898) by Amedeo BocchiAPE Parma Museum

His talent is evident from his earliest works, like this small painting that depicts what the young painter sees from his room.

Nudo femminile (1915) by Amedeo BocchiAPE Parma Museum

In 1901, at the request of Barilli himself, he enrolled in the Free Nude School of the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome. It is the first stage of a long road that will lead him through Italy to perfect his technique.

La moglie Rita in abito da sposa (1906) by Amedeo BocchiAPE Parma Museum

In 1906 he married his fellow student Rita Boraschi: a short marriage (the woman died in 1909), from which Bianca, the only beloved daughter of the painter, was born in 1908.

Visi di uomo e donna (1915) by Amedeo BocchiAPE Parma Museum

After having participated in the Venice Biennale in 1910 and in the Rome Biennale in 1911, from 1913 to 1916 he dedicated himself to the decoration of the Council Chamber of the Cassa di Risparmio di Parma.

Donna in nero (1915) by Amedeo BocchiAPE Parma Museum

For the bank he created some frescoes dedicated to the theme of savings, an impressive work that was highly appreciated by the critics of the time, but also contemporary.

Studio a Villa Strohl-Fern (1927) by Amedeo BocchiAPE Parma Museum

In 1915 he moved permanently to Rome to one of the studio-houses in the park of Villa Strohl-Fern, made available to artists by the Alsatian patron Alfred Strohl. This will be his home until his death.

Niccolina con chitarra (1917) by Amedeo BocchiAPE Parma Museum

In 1919 he married his model Niccolina, with whom he spent a few years of happiness, in a daily life marked by family tranquility and painting.

La colazione del mattino (1919) by Amedeo BocchiAPE Parma Museum

The mother, daughter Bianca and wife Niccolina, pictured here having breakfast in the garden, tell better than many words the serene everyday life of the painter.

Pomeriggio d'estate (1919) by Amedeo BocchiAPE Parma Museum

However, it will not be a lasting period, because Niccolina will fall ill and die in 1923, leaving him again a widower a few years after the wedding.

Amedeo e Bianca (1930) by AnonimoAPE Parma Museum

His daughter Bianca, a favorite subject of his painting of those years, will help him overcome this new mourning.

Bianca in abito da sera (1924) by Amedeo BocchiAPE Parma Museum

In 1926, with this work, Bocchi won the first prize at the Exhibition on the Female Portrait of Monza.

Terracina, la malaria (1919) by Amedeo BocchiAPE Parma Museum

Alongside the family affections and glimpses of Villa Strohl-Fern, Terracina inspires his painting. After a first visit in 1911, the Lazio town becomes a favorite destination for summer stays.

Terellane con giunco (1914 circa) by Amedeo BocchiAPE Parma Museum

The sunny vision of Terracina, the typical costumes, the simplicity of everyday life and the hardships of work become the subject of study and many of his works.

Viso di Terellana (1) (1914 circa) by Amedeo BocchiAPE Parma Museum

Bocchi dedicates many portraits to the women of Terracina (Terellane), depicting them with typical, rich and colorful costumes.

Bianca con piccolo basco (1932) by Amedeo BocchiAPE Parma Museum

But Bocchi has to experience another terrible loss: his daughter Bianca dies in 1934. In the last portrait that her father makes of her, the young woman's face is already pale and tried by illness.

Roma, Ponte Milvio (1935 circa) by Amedeo BocchiAPE Parma Museum

The mournful events strongly marked him pushing him to withdraw from the world, to keep away from what happens beyond the walls of the garden of Villa Strohl-Fern.

Villa Borghese (1949) by Amedeo BocchiAPE Parma Museum

His, however, is not a withdrawal from art, which is his only reason for living.

Ulivi a Tivoli (1959) by Amedeo BocchiAPE Parma Museum

Sul Palatino (1970) by Amedeo BocchiAPE Parma Museum

Parma-Consegna a Bocchi della medaglia d'oro per meriti artistici (1972) by AnonimoAPE Parma Museum

In 1972 he received in Parma the Gold Medal of Merit of the School of Art and Culture, granted by the Ministry of Education.

Bocchi nel suo studio a Roma (1975) by AnonimoAPE Parma Museum

Painting and his Roman home are his refuge until the end of his days.
He died on December 16, 1976, painting.

Il giardiniere (1976) by Amedeo BocchiAPE Parma Museum

On the easel there is the unfinished painting "The Gardener", evidence of his inexhaustible bond with painting.

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