Two years of work to gather together the paintings of Ercole Magrotti

The association Passione Arte has worked to put together and register all of the works of the artist, who was well-known, in Gallarate, from the 1920s to the 1940s, who subsequently lived in exile in Rome.

Today, 7 December 2020, saw the publication of the catalogue of works by Ercole Magrotti, the painter originally from Gallarate, who was very well-known from the 1920s to the 1940s, who died, in Rome, in 1967.

Hundreds of his paintings can be found in the houses in the area of Gallarate, but there are many others in Rome, where Magrotti moved after the war.

The catalogue of the painter has been produced by the association Passione Arte, is the result of two years of work, and is also accompanied by an exhibition on the association’s premises. “We’ve counted almost five hundred paintings, including those from the Lombard period and those from the Roman period,” said Eliseo Valenti. “Today, 90% are to be found in homes in Gallarate, but we went to Rome, where we also contacted his grandchildren, who informed us of about fifty paintings in total.”

Magrotti was a landscape artist who painted what was around him. So, during his Gallarate period, he produced scenes of Lake Varese and Lake Maggiore, some works with a mountain in the background, the markets of Luino and Varese, numerous farmsteads, minor rural landscapes painted with a lyrical tone, some glimpses of “old Gallarate”, a small ancient world that changed profoundly in those years.

 

A view of the old Piazza Garibaldi, in the 1930s; towards the end of the decade, the construction of the “Casa del Fascio” (today, ‘Palazzo Minoletti’) sacrificed the porticoes on the south side

 

The book, which is published by Passione Arte, features a “landscape with Lake Maggiore and mountains” on the cover (at the beginning of this article), and the back cover shows a view of Castel Gandolfo; these refer to the two phases of Magrotti’s work, which was affected by his leaving Gallarate for political reasons (after 25 April 1945, he felt he needed a change of air). A change in his work can be seen; “In the Roman period, the subjects were still landscapes, but the style became darker, less radiant, perhaps also as a result of his exile.”

 

The view of Castel Gandolfo on the back cover of the catalogue

 

Translated by Alessia Tropolini, Andrea Rota and Adriana Bocse

Reviewed by Prof. Rolf Cook

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Pubblicato il 19 Dicembre 2020
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