Divisionism and Caffè Greco are two tesserae in the mosaic of 19th-century Rome.
Enrico Lionne was a habitué of the historical bar in Via dei Condotti, a popular spot among the painters who gave life to Roman Divisionism, which distanced itself from the Lombard and Piedmontese variations of the movement by favoring folk and “realistic” subjects, and by avoiding symbolism.
Lionne – born Enrico Della Leonessa (Naples1865-1921) – started his career as illustrator for various important publications of his time, such as “Corriere di Roma” (edited by Edoardo Scarfoglio and Matilde Serao), “Don Chisciotte della Mancia”, and “Capitan Fracassa”. He gained notoriety for his ‘pupazzetti’ (small figures that dotted articles, providing a light, ironic comment to the text). He started to paint in the 1890s.
Lionne experimented with interesting chromatic theories – some of them based on scientific papers by American researchers – and created ladies’ portraits and scenes from countryside life that would become part of important exhibitions and art events, including the Venice Biennale.
Here is a selection of his works.