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

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.

Giuseppe Pietro Bagetti, Notturno con effetto di luna - Night-time view with moon effect

"Night-time view with moon effect", 19th century, watercolor on cardboard, Palazzo Reale, Turin

Giuseppe Pietro Bagetti, Boschi e forre sulla montagna - Forests and gorges on the mountain

"Forests and gorges on the mountain", 1825-1830, tempera on paper on cardboard, Palazzo Reale, Turin

Giuseppe Pietro Bagetti, Veduta

"Undergrowth with rocks and broken trees, under threat of a storm", 1810-1820, watercolor on paper, private collection

Giuseppe Pietro Bagetti, Allegoria napoleonica - Napoleonic allegory

"Napoleonic Allegory", c. 1801, watercolor and white tempera on ivory paper, Galleria d'Arte Moderna, Turin

Giuseppe Pietro Bagetti, Paesaggio con cascata - Landscape with waterfall

"Landscape with waterfall (Undergrowth with monk)", 1800-1820, Galleria d'Arte moderna, Turin

Giuseppe Piero Bagetti, Plenilunio sul mare - Full moon over the sea

"Full moon over the sea", c. 1800-1810, watercolor on paper glued to cardboard, Accademia Albertina, Turin

Giuseppe Pietro Bagetti, Paesaggio montano - Mountain landscape

"Mountain landscape (Mountain landscape with herds)", early 19th century, watercolorGalleria d'Arte moderna, Turin

Giuseppe Pietro Bagetti, Veduta del Santuario di Oropa - View of the Oropa Sanctuary

Giuseppe Pietro Bagetti, "View of the Oropa Sanctuary from East", 1812, watercolor on paper glued to cardboard, private collection

Giuseppe Pietro Bagetti, Boschetto - Woods

"Woods", c. 1820-1831, watercolor on paper glued on cardboard, Accademia Albertina

Giuseppe Pietro Bagetti, Paesaggio - Landscape

"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

Giuseppe Pietro Bagetti, Ponte sospeso su due gole - Suspended bridge over two clefts

"Suspended bridge over two clefts", c. 1795, watercolor on paper glued on cardboard, Accademia Albertina

Giuseppe Pietro Bagetti, Il noce di Benevento - The Benevento Walnut Tree

"The Benevento Walnut Tree", 1816, watercolor on paper, early 19th century, Turin, private collection

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