Luigi Galli: Il Male che stringe l'UmanitàLuigi Galli

(Milan 1820-Rome 1900) 

Evil Clinging to Humanity 

Circa 1885 

Oil on canvas, 60 × 39 cm  

Provenance: Rome, private collection  

 

Initiated¬†to the plastic neoclassicism of¬†Luigi Sabatelli¬†and aware of the developments of European painting, in particular¬†in¬†France¬†–¬†above all¬†Millet¬†and¬†Courbet ‚Ästand England¬†‚Ästwhere George Frederic Watts¬†is his main point of reference¬†-,¬†he develops his own particular variation of the romantic symbolist¬†atmosphere,¬†enveloping it in elements¬†that are dark,¬†softened¬†and vaguely melancholy,¬†drawing on the Nordic and Lombard¬†tradition,¬†and leaving it to resound with pagan echoes of luxury elegance and decadence, markedly evident in the voluptuousness of the female nudes.¬†An anticipatory instance of German symbolism¬†can also be seen¬†here¬†in¬†Eve who,¬†taking on the pain of humanity,¬†tries to defend herself from the coils of a voluminous serpent.¬†¬†

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