Gugliemo Janni: frammento sacro

Guglielmo Janni

(Rome 1882-1958) 

Fragment (Sacred Composition) 

Circa 1939 

Oil on canvas affixed to panel, 38.5 × 27.5 cm 

Inscription on the back: Head  

Print: This painting is the work of the painter Guglielmo Janni. (In marker pen) circa 1930 / In faith: / Libero de Libero / Romeo Lucchese / Alberto Ziveri / Rome, 10 July 1972 

Next to the names are the relative signatures in marker pen. / (In marker pen) 27.5 x 38.5 cm 

Provenance: Rome, private collection 


Having trained with Giulio Bargellini, who wanted his input for various pictorial mural cycles, Janni’s early works clearly owe a debt to the great masters of the Italian ‘400. Sensitive to tonalism he embraces the Roman School in his own very clear version. The painterly matter turned towards the ‘dawn’ acquires more atmospheric values and the layers undergo to a more insistent formal synthesis, while the pervasive, hanging interior tension, far from psychologism, sets off the disquieted energy of an indistinct moral query. But then, shy and introverted, he suddenly abandons painting to dedicate himself to editing the unpublished works of the famous poet Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli, his maternal grandfather, and destroys or reduces to fragment a significant part of his work. As is the case with this Head, to which the rarefied and bleached palette with earth tones and blue and the weave of the canvas showing through bring a dreamy note to the sought-after vagueness of shapes of great poetic intensity. 

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