His Own Vision

Eugenio Gignous, Primavera

Eugenio Gignous, Primavera

Each artist, if they are to be true to themselves, must find their own vision.

Primavera is painted in a style that looks comfortably familiar to us now.  The painting is full of the greens and the light of Spring.  It is built with short, sharp brush strokes, creating layers of greens and browns for tree trunks and foliage.  Rocky shapes anchor and focus it, giving shape to the earth and the eye a place to rest.

Familiar as it looks to us now, it took time to develop the eye, the ideas and the skill needed to create a painting like this.

The artist who painted Primavera, Eugenio Gignous, began his career painting more realistically, according to the conventions of the time.  Born in Milan, he studied at the Accademia di Brera before focusing on outdoor (plein air) painting.  Then, influenced by a group called the Scapigliatura, he focused more on re-creating the light in and the feeling of the scenes he painted and his style became more impressionistic.

The Scapigliatura were a group of writers, artists and musicians who believed that there should be no distinction between life and art.  Anarchists, they rebelled against the society they lived in.  They chose to live according to their own ideas and outside the rules society imposed on them, ignoring the conventions that governed art, music and literature at the time.

Gignous was influenced by artists who were part of the group, particularly by Tranquillo Cremona (see below) and Filippo Carcano, but he developed and maintained his own vision.  The way he painted was based, first and foremost, on his own observations and his own interests.  He studied nature closely, and was fascinated by, observed and worked to reproduce the many colours of her foliage.

Now he is seen as standing in a place of his own, somewhere between the realists and the impressionists  – because that is where his vision lay, and he was true to his vision.

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Tranquillo Cremona, Fanciulla Malata

Tranquillo Cremona, Fanciulla Malata (Sick Child)

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