Pia dei Tolomei taken to the castle of Maremma

Vincenzo Cabianca (Verona 1827 - Roma 1902)
Date
1860 c.
Technique
oil on canvas
Size
cm 57 x 75
Inventory
Giorn. 4873; Dep. 586

Cabianca describes the arrival of the unwitting Pia de’ Tolomei, taken to Castel di Pietra by her jealous husband. The painting style used is that which the artists of the Accademia reserved for sketches in the 19th century: a rapid synthesis of stains of colour designed to focus on volumes and relationships of light and shade, rather than on the precision of the drawing. This pictorial style became the favoured medium in the circle of the Macchiaioli who studied the painting of the past masters in Florence, renewing it with a modern focus on the natural element and abandoning the theatrical conventions of academic painting. For a long time, this canvas was believed to have been the sketch for a much larger painting with the same subject and setting. However, recently critics have restored the autonomy of this sketch, which appears to be an exercise in style based on a literary theme, carried out with the modern medium experimented by Cabianca as he regularly frequented the animated discussions held in the Macchiaolo meeting place, Caffè Michelangelo. And in fact, Adriano Cecioni, one of the theoreticians of the group, and an artist himself, stated that the modernity of a work did not necessarily consist in the abandonment of the traditional theme, but in the innovation of its form.