Alberto Martini

(Oderzo 1876-Milan 1954)

Hop-Frog

1907

Pen and India ink on paper, 251 x 180 mm

Signed in pen lower centre: A. MARTINI.; title in pen lower centre: HOP-FROG;

Dated on the back in pencil: 1907; stamped: Galleria d’Arte Spotorno Milano

Provenance: Saronno, Tischer collection; Rome, private collection

Provenienza: Saronno, collezione Tischer; Roma, collezione privata

M. Lorandi (edited by); Alberto Martini illustratore di Edgar Allan Poe, F. M. Ricci, Milan 1984, p. 245 (ill.); A. Botta; Illustrazioni incredibioli. Alberto Martini e i racconti di Edgar Allan Poe, Quodlibet/Passaré, Macerata 2017, no. 59 (ill.); A. Botta, Alberto Martini. “La penna è il bisturi dell’arte”. Disegni per Edgar Allan Poe e temi diversi, Galleria Carlo Virgilio & C., exh. cat., Rome, 2021, pp. 66, 95, no. 19 (ill.);

Exhibitions: L’Estampe. 4me Salon Annuel, presented by V. Pica (Bruxelles, Musée Moderne, 6 – 30 January 1910), Bruxelles 1910, no. 334; Mostra individuale di Alberto Martini, presented by V. PIca, Società d’Amatori e Cultori di Belle Arti di Roma, room T, no. 42; Pen drawings by Alberto Martini, presented by V. Pica (Lonndon, Goupil & Co, March 1914), London 1914, no. 55; Mostra individuale di Hans St. Lerche, Alberto Martini, Mario Cavaglieri, presented by V. Pica, Milan, 1920, no. 352; Alberto Martini. Exposition de peintures, dessins, frauvures, théâtre, preface by René-Louis Doyon, (Paris, Galerie d’Art Siot-Decauville, 25 March – 11 April 1925), Paris 1925; Mostra cicilica di Alberto Martini. Opere dal 1895 ad oggi, Bpttega delle Arti, Brescia 1954, no. 20; Mostra di disegni incisioni pastelli e dipinti di ALberto Martin, a cura di Giuseppe Marchiori, Oderzo, Palazzo Saccomanni 1967, Venice 1967, no. 47; Disegni da classici, Galleria Annunciata, Milan 1983, no. 11; Alberto Martini e Dante, ed. by G. Gizzi, Torre de’ Passer, Casa di Dante in Abruzzo 1989, Milan 1989, no. 12; A. Botta, Alberto Martini. “La penna è il bisturi dell’arte”. Disegni per Edgar Allan Poe e temi diversi, Galleria Carlo Virgilio & C., exh. cat., Rome, 2021, pp. 66, 95, no. 19 (ill.).;

Martini, in this later illustration for Hop-Frog, focuses his attention directly on the dwarf, protagonist of the tale. His physiognomy follows the descriptions given by Poe, who highlights the prominent stomach and congenital protuberance on his head, as he does the bandy legs that mean the Hop-Frog is incapable of walking like other human beings. Shown isolated within the composition, the midget Hop-Frog – offended and wanting revenge – stands out from the unbroken background, aiming his penetrating gaze directly at the observer. Only the detail of the hooked chains and cords, located at the base of the drawing, link it with the tale’s complex narrative. As in the case above, such a large number of illustrations dedicated to the tale of Hop-Frog makes identifying the drawings precisely difficult in the context of historical exhibitions, so they are indicated hypothetically

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