Giuseppe Pietro Bagetti and D’Azeglio’s “Memoirs”

Giuseppe Pietro Bagetti, La Sacra di San Michele

"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.

June 9, 2015