Ruggero Panerai (Florence 1862-1923)
Oil on canvas in gilded frame
Canvas size 100 x 70 cm (116 x 86 cm including the frame)
Last quarter of the 19th century
Signed at the bottom left
Condition: very good, the painting has not been restored, only a slight cleaning of the surface. The canvas, frame and frame are original.
Ruggero Panerai was born in Florence on 13 March 1862. He was employed as a carpenter until the age of fifteen and then studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, which he attended from 1877 to 1881. His teacher was Giovanni Fattori, who introduced him to the naturalistic painting of landscapes of the Tuscan Maremma and considered him among his most deserving students.
Factors' teachings were decisive in orienting the young artist, who adopted the themes and the pictorial technique, updating them with the naturalism flowered in Tuscany through the example of Luigi and Francesco Gioli, Tommasi and Egisto Ferroni.
In 1883 he exhibited at the Promotrice in Florence, his impressionism was inspired by the works of Guido Carocci. His painting is also affected by the bourgeois and worldly look of Giuseppe De Nittis and the manner of Vittorio Matteo Corcos who for some years lived in Paris but who returned to Livorno from time to time. Useful for a contact with the Parisian culture could also have been, for Panerai, the proximity with Francesco and Luigi Gioli, who in 1878 went to the French capital, where they had frequented Federico Zandomeneghi.
Panerai was also attracted by the military theme. Military subjects are in fact among the most practiced and loved by the artist, who declines them in numerous variations, mostly devoid of pathos, but adhering to a quiet image.
In 1887 his painting "Il Guado", presented in Venice, was chosen for the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rome, but instead entered the "Pisani" Gallery. In the same year he exhibited in Genoa, Florence and Milan, where he won the Fumagalli Prize with "Il cavallo malato" (Florence, Galleria d'arte moderna of Palazzo Pitti), a painting in which his qualities as a sensitive animalist painter stand out, making with finesse the atmosphere full of doubts that emanates from the two herdsmen bent over the crouching horse, immersed in the natural scenery of an unspoilt Maremma.
He was appointed professor of the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna. Around the nineties, in a more delicate chromatism, he still portrayed subjects of nineteenth-century Florence and later painted genre scenes. In later times Panerai also dealt with mythological subjects. A collection of his drawings was donated by his widow Henrietta to the Uffizi Office. She died in Paris on 24 October 1923.
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