Tocco da Casauria 1851 — 1929 Francavilla al Mare

Glistening Church Spire against an Expansive Sky

pastels on heathery paper, 91/16 x 113/8" (230 x 290mm). signed Michetti and dated '17 sett'.

private collection, Italy

Michetti was introduced to pastel by Eduardo Dalbono. With pastel Michetti experimented with color, applying lessons learned in Paris from his friend Fortuny. Some of his forms were said to dissolve into impalpability1 and that appears to be the case with the foreground in the present work. This provides great contrast to the small but glistening shapes of the man-made structures peeking out over the hill, lit up by the light, as well as to the vast and luminous sky. A brilliant blue spattered with a few clouds, the sky seems to soar over the earth.

Michetti trained under Morelli at the Accademia in Naples. But the greater influence on his work was Palizzi. In 1871 Michetti went to Paris and De Nettis facilitated his admittance to the Paris Salons of 1872 and 1875. Once home he embarked on a series of large paintings concerning the people of the Abruzzi and these received critical and popular acclaim at the International Exposition in Rome. He then began painting monocromatically and took up photography.


See Roberta Olson, Ottocento, Romanticism and Revolution in 19th c. Italian Painting, NY, 1992, p. 271.