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Sold at Auction: Antonio Fontanesi



(b Reggio Emilia, Italy, 1818; d Turin, 1882) Italian Painter. Fontanesi began his career as a set painter in the early 1840s. Due to his participation with Garibaldi’s forces in Italy’s war with Austria, Fontanesi sought refuge in Switzerland. He remained in Geneva from 1848 to 1866. During this time the artist traveled to France, London and Italy. Focusing primarily on landscapes, his work during this period was calm and tranquil in tone, with a single minded focus on the qualities of light and shade.* In 1869 Fontanesi moved to Turin after acquiring a teaching position at the Turin Academy of Art. He remained at the Academy until 1876, at which time the artist was given the great honor of becoming one of three foreign advisors to the Technical Fine Arts School in Tokyo, Japan. This esteemed position allowed Fontanesi to influence Japan’s art by introducing Western techniques such as charcoal and oils to art students. Due to an illness, Fontanesi returned to Italy soon after beginning at the School and remained there until his death. (Credit: *Christie’s, London, 19th Century European, January 21, 2009, Lot 11)
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