Giuseppe Pietro Bagetti and D’Azeglio’s “Memoirs”
"The Sacra di San Michele", 1825-1830, watercolor on cardboard, Palazzo Reale, Turin
Architect and painter Giuseppe Pietro Bagetti (Turin, 1764-1831) was a renowned vedutist, nicknamed the “prince of watercolors” by many critics of his time. Apparently, he also gave advice to patriot Massimo D’Azeglio (1798-1866).
As you may know, at one point in his youth, D’Azeglio got tired of the wasteful and self-indulgent life he was leading with his friends, and decided to change by fully dedicating himself to studying and practicing art.
In his “Memoirs”, he recorded, “Overnight, I changed completely. I abandoned all my previous frequentations: friends, cafés, pool halls, taverns, and all the things you do not talk about; I changed habits, schedule, places, walks […] Not having direction and wanting to study landscape oil painting, I asked local painter cavalier Bagetti, a brilliant man and fast watercolor painter, imaginative, brave, worldly, known in society. Napoleon had wanted him in many of his war campaigns, to portray the battlefields. I had asked him, as I was saying, how I could start painting. He suggested I copied two views of the sea […], beautiful paintings – I don’t know or don’t remember by whom.”
Here is a selection of works by this great Italian master of landscape views.
"Night-time view with moon effect", 19th century, watercolor on cardboard, Palazzo Reale, Turin
"Forests and gorges on the mountain", 1825-1830, tempera on paper on cardboard, Palazzo Reale, Turin
"Undergrowth with rocks and broken trees, under threat of a storm", 1810-1820, watercolor on paper, private collection
"Napoleonic Allegory", c. 1801, watercolor and white tempera on ivory paper, Galleria d'Arte Moderna, Turin
"Landscape with waterfall (Undergrowth with monk)", 1800-1820, Galleria d'Arte moderna, Turin
"Full moon over the sea", c. 1800-1810, watercolor on paper glued to cardboard, Accademia Albertina, Turin
"Mountain landscape (Mountain landscape with herds)", early 19th century, watercolorGalleria d'Arte moderna, Turin
Giuseppe Pietro Bagetti, "View of the Oropa Sanctuary from East", 1812, watercolor on paper glued to cardboard, private collection
"Woods", c. 1820-1831, watercolor on paper glued on cardboard, Accademia Albertina
"Alpine landscape with a stream in the valley and a village atop a cliff", c. 1800-1810, watercolor on paper glued on cardboard, Accademia Albertina
"Suspended bridge over two clefts", c. 1795, watercolor on paper glued on cardboard, Accademia Albertina
"The Benevento Walnut Tree", 1816, watercolor on paper, early 19th century, Turin, private collection
June 9, 2015