Bambini's Collection

An interesting ensemble of modern and contemporary works, with a particular attention devoted to the art of drawing

Flower pots by Massimo CampigliMantova Museo Urbano Diffuso

Flower pots

Massimo Campigli is an artist with a double life. Born in Berlin to a very young German mother, who long disguised her state even in the eyes of her son, his real name was Max Ihlenfeldt. Even from early childhood, however, he lived in Florence. Italy would always be his country of choice, despite the many and varied trips that would take him to Paris for a long time, in two distinct periods. Famous for his inventions of metaphysical character, in which appear series of stylized women and girls, with vague Etruscan or archaic Greek feelings, he aims to form a kind of pattern that lives on the variations of the individual elements. Campigli has in fact two fundamental qualities: an ability to stylize and a musicality in his composition. This gives him an important and strongly distinguished role in Italian painting between the wars and the post-war period. In the work that we admire here, the large carafe is resolved in a slightly cubist way, partly because it is mirrored by the smaller vase. The still life is expressed on the basis of essential lines, which break down the planes of vision and make it real. The author’s ability of synthesis is seen in every detail, but especially in the drafting of the same flowers, which are transformed into geometric groupings capable of offering a profound balance to the design.

View of a park by Orfeo TamburiMantova Museo Urbano Diffuso

View of a park

A native from Marche by birth but a Parisian at heart, Orfeo Tamburi was trained at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome, and in fact shares some elements of that artistic trend later called the Roman School. Although he often spent time in the French capital, he developed an intense painting that has one of the essential sources in the landscape. Tamburi paints using warm colors first, then progressively cools down, finally composing a long series of Parisian views, in which the houses of the big city are transformed into wings and curtains, while the description varies between white walls, open windows and vertical roofs. The work presented here is the vision of a park, resolved with evident freedom and happiness of a stroke, between intertwined trees and soaring street lamps. Like the almost contemporary De Pisis, Tamburi draws from the fundamental lesson of the Impressionists the desire for synthesis and rapidity in drafting, so as to catch every particular quiver of the life that flows before his eyes.

Reflections in the water by Carlo HolleschMantova Museo Urbano Diffuso

Reflection in the water

In the post-war period, the Istrian Hollesch carried out a very personal research based on Venetian art, interpreted however in a surrealist and expressionist way thanks to an expository freshness that earned him the participation in some Art Biennials. Starting from a fictitious, almost magical realism, the artist soon arrives at a fantastic conception that sees the features of things dissolve into a magma of colors capable of assuming particular material value. This also happens in the work here, where the reflections of the lagoon city are transformed into a rhythmic series of elements, with an intense and happy impact, which unite the distant beauty of the buildings with the arched underscores of the gondolas and the crooked lines of the red piers that sink their roots into the omnipresent liquid element, the triumph and ruin of Venice.

Cactus, painting and window by Gino MeloniMantova Museo Urbano Diffuso

Cactus, painting and window

A sincere artist capable of a profound and powerful synthesis, Meloni moves to post-war Italy in search of an expressive form that renews the content of landscapes, portraits and things, following in part the dictates of Expressionist taste and in part the masterful lessons Picasso. In doing so, he progressively arrives at an increasingly more elegant, refined and at the same time stroke, which explores and segments the space following a sincere and happy inspiration. The still life that we present here, for example, renews the individual elements within a vision that certainly favors the strength of color, but which also builds a great relationship between objects, so that they bring a strong vital energy to the eye. The beautiful transparency of some details, which become phantasmic while reaffirming their presence; also interesting is the invention of the painting in the painting, which substantially replicates the same content.

A character by Karel AppelMantova Museo Urbano Diffuso

A character

Appel was a prominent exponent of the CoBrA movement, called so by the names of the European capitals in which this group of artists mainly worked: Copenhagen, Brussels, Amsterdam. In fact, it was a pictorial current that followed the dictates of expressionism in the post-war period, but it expanded into less anguished, very lively, bizarre and, in a certain sense, joyful visions. Appel, in particular, created works in which the surviving figuration evolves into brightly colored shapes, which often give rise to fantastic creatures. So it happens in this case, where the author's hand draws with great force, using only black and red, the features of a character almost from a fairy tale. Our attention tends to unite these lines and these commas, composing a face and a body. In this way, we are transported to a different world: an expressive reality that does not follow the contradictory evolution of European society. And so it represents the counterpoint.

Abstraction by Emilio VedovaMantova Museo Urbano Diffuso


Emilio Vedova is one of the masters of Italian and world abstractionism. His long activity during the twentieth century shows an unparalleled talent, which he achieves through different phases of painting, all however distinguished by a signature look that is both tumultuous and refined. Following the ancient tradition of the Venetian authors, he uses the color black to create the structure of his works. Then, he lights them up and makes them examples of expressionism, using other colors, in particular red and green. An artist certainly tormented yet truly very classical, Vedova expresses himself in a lofty way both in large paintings as well small and medium size, which is what we see here. The vortex, precisely elaborated through black, involves a dynamic and at the same time dramatic vision of reality. Then, exploring more closely the design and the stroke, we discover how each small line, small smudge, small wave represents an element of harmony and even grace, in the confines of a creation still agitated by a sublime wind.

Still life by Bruno SaettiMantova Museo Urbano Diffuso

Still life

A painter solidly educated at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna, he took part in 15 Venice Biennials. Exponent of a realism lit by strong colors and an expressionist interpretation of the tract, he had a solid reputation in Italy and abroad. Very well known in the post-war period for his landscapes characterized by the appearance of a great reddish or rosy sun, which is repeated several times under different skies, he was a very flexible master able to span all artistic techniques, obtaining for example particularly happy results in the field of fresco. In the work presented here, the still life is firmly set on a large table on which appears a multicolored tablecloth, which then leaves room for the appearance of a species of great demijohn. The background is characterized by the typical red of Saetti, embellished with yellowish brushstrokes that thicken in the upper part. It is therefore the work of a very interesting author, who always refused to fully embrace abstractionism, being better able to interpret the taste of Italian figuration.

Abstract composition by Mauro ReggianiMantova Museo Urbano Diffuso

Abstract composition

Among the first Italian authors to come into contact and to understand the masters of European abstractionism, already in the twenties, Reggiani throughout his artistic life followed a line of coherent and exact evolution. Starting from a vision that still has its roots in the figure, it manages to translate reality into a complex set of drawings and colors that rigorously shows its quintessential backbone. A painter full of happiness and almost joy, his compositions are always balanced and dynamic, since he comes to synthesize in an extremely careful way the plasticity of nature and the musical harmony of the relationships between things. In this work, for example, the rhythm of the sections dominated by red and those dominated instead by blue gives rise to a creation that breathes through the mutual relationship between the different areas, inventing a landscape of tints that are free and formally irreproachable.

Dancing in the dark by Giosetta FioroniMantova Museo Urbano Diffuso

Dancing in the dark

Giosetta Fioroni, born into a family of artists, with a mother who deeply loved marionettes, studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome and participated since a young age in the cultural climate of the capital that, particular in the sixties, was also a crossroads of foreign masters, passing or permanent visitors, many of whom come from the United States. That was the period of the birth of pop art and also the development of a particular Italian pop art. Giosetta Fioroni, linked in her life by intense and reciprocated love for the writer Goffredo Parise, initially distinguished herself in the elaboration of photographs that were transformed into icons suggestive of style or fashion. She further worked to reach a singular mythic association between the written text and the image. The work we admire here shows us a sort of pointed mountain or of unformed matter, evidently also imbued with notes. On the other hand, the title "Dancing in the dark" could allude to a famous American song. Finally, the mountain ends with the top of a New York skyscraper. This creates a world apart, as the artist did in her famous theaters, where the imagination returns to play a preponderant role, freed from all formal suggestion.

Credits: Story

Ideato e promosso da / Founded and Promoted by: Mattia Palazzi (Sindaco del Comune di Mantova) con Lorenza Baroncelli (Assessore alla rigenerazione urbana e del territorio, marketing urbano, progetti e relazioni internazionali del Comune di Mantova) Coordinamento Scientifico / Scientific Coordinator: Sebastiano Sali Curatore testi e immagini / Superintendent texts and images: Giovanni Pasetti Foto di / Photo by: Art Camera Redazione / Editor: Erica Beccalossi Assistente / Assistant: Fabrizio Foresio

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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