Curated by: Nadia Marchioni
The new exhibition of the Museum of the City of Livorno was born from the rediscovery of an important collection of paintings by Mario Puccini (Livorno 1869 - Florence 1920), a great painter in the wake of the Macchiaioli defined by Emilio Cecchi in 1913 as an "involuntary Van Gogh", of which we want to celebrate the historical and artistic value, while at the same time reflecting on works never presented before or rarely exhibited in the past. Curated by Nadia Marchioni flanked by a scientific committee formed by Vincenzo Farinella, Gianni Schiavon and Carlo Sisi, the exhibition celebrates the centenary of the painter's death in 2020 and expands the research started on the occasion of the 2015 exhibition at the Palazzo Mediceo in Seravezza. The "rediscovery" collection allows you to follow the development of Puccini's artistic career from his debut, starting with the rare portraits of the late 1880s, which highlight the link with the Florentine artistic environment of the turn of the century and with the masters Fattori and Lega, at the maturity of the instinctive colorist, as it manifested after the five years spent in the hospitals of Livorno and Siena, where, hospitalized for "primitive dementia", he was discharged by psychiatrists in 1898 and entrusted, "not healed ”, in the custody of his father, allowing him to regain his freedom. Mental illness, in addition to the passionate use of color, has already contributed to suggesting to contemporaries the historical-critical hypothesis of a link between Puccini's painting and that of Van Gogh, whose work the Livornese had actually admired, together with that of Cézanne, in the famous Florentine collection of Gustavo Sforni, with whom he came into contact thanks to his friend Oscar Ghiglia. "Its updating in a European sense - says the curator Nadia Marchioni - was probably already started in 1910, thanks to the direct comparison with the paintings of Van Gogh, Cézanne, Gauguin observed, among others, at the famous First Florentine Exhibition of Impressionism and stimulated by the examples of Alfredo Müller and Plinio Nomellini, who grew up like him in the orbit of Fattori. From this moment Puccini's artistic career flourished thanks to Sforni himself, Mario Galli and other refined collectors who commissioned and purchased his works. The exhibition of Puccini's work, following the chronology, also follows a thematic criterion, with the most representative paintings of all the artist's favorite genres: portraits, still lifes, views of the port of Livorno and, above all, landscapes, in the such as chromatic lyricism reaches heights of very high sensitivity ".