Eduardo Dalbono and his despotic art

Eduardo Dalbono

"From Frisio to Santa Lucia", ca. 1886, oil on canvas, Museo Nazionale di San Martino, Naples

Neapolitan painter Eduardo Dalbono (1841-1915), being an artist, was particularly sensitive to “memories and impressions, which come back to mind so vividly that we are able to immortalize them on durable matter without missing a beat or a breath of the original.”

A supporter of Realism and a member of the School of Resina – which also included his friends Filippo Palizzi, Giuseppe Mancinelli, and Domenico Morelli –, Dalbono loved to draw out in the sun and fresh air.

Here is how he described his job:

“My art is so despotic and greedy of time, that it takes up all the best hours of the day: the hours of sunlight. My art is the opposite of talent! Nothing of the sort, dear sirs: talent, inspiration, poetic flair – are all words that belong to the realms of literature and music.”

“When we chase after the ghost of a picture, we poor painters have to nurse it for an indefinite period of time, in order to then properly set in on durable material: because this vile matter immediately jumps in with its obstacles and nuisances.”

“You need the right light, colors, brushes, canvas, easel, resins, oils, varnishes, paper, charcoal, pencils, rulers, triangles, clothes, hats and shoes of all kinds and color; and also rags, pocket knives, blades, palettes, and most importantly space – space enough to see your work from a distance… (translated from D. Morelli-E. Dalbono, “La scuola napoletana di pittura nel secolo XIX”, edited by B. Croce, Bari 1915).

Now let’s see the beautiful fruit of those daily labors.

January 18, 2016