“Women in a Pompeian atrium”
Signed L. Bazzani and dated Roma 1879
Oil on panel
Dimensions with frame : Height : 95 cm (37 1/2 in.) ; Width : 81 cm (31 3/4 in.)
A scene set in an atrium, the floor of which is decorated with a rose mosaic and Greek friezes. Showing two women by a fountain richly decorated with mosaics and grotesque figures.
Luigi Bazzani was born in Bologna where he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts. His first steps in the artistic world were taken as a stage designer for the Bologna town theatre in 1857, in notable collaboration with Tito Azzolini and Francesco Bertolotti. He traveled in France and Germany in order to perfect his art. In 1861 he settled in Rome where he worked as a decorator, landscape painter and stage designer for the Opera. He worked with Elena Fracassini-Serafini on various interior designs until 1868. He equally distinguished himself with his religious paintings during the Roman Exhibition of Catholic Art in 1870, where he was awarded a medal of encouragement. Pope Pius 9th even commissioned him to decorate the Basilica of San Lorenzo. He painted frescoes for numerous public and private buildings such as the hall of the Roman Palace of Justice. Towards 1883 he exhibited paintings of Pompeian architecture successively in Rome, Monaco, Berlin and Turin. Each of these compositions of studied perspective and theatrical content was of the finest quality. He studied Pompeian architecture which he illustrated with precision, as in his series of watercolours painted in 1891 or the paintings he did in 1900 including “The House of the Tragic Poet in Pompeii”. Each of his representations of Pompeian life is thoroughly researched which gives his work an almost historical value.
Many Italian museums conserve works by Bazzani. The National Museum of Naples exhibits about thirty watercolours of Pompeian life and another ten or so can be seen in the National Museum of Rome. The Revoltella Museum in Trieste exhibits The Arch of Septimus Severus in Rome (1893).
Benezit, Gründ, 2000, t. I.
L’Ottocento, sous la direction d’Enrico Castelnuovo, 1991, p° 683.