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The Angel of Life Giovanni Segantini


Giovanni Segantini Arco, 1858 – Schafberg, Switzerland, 1899

Date 1894–1895
Object type painting
Medium, technique watercolour, gold and silver powder, charcoal and oil on paper

59.5 x 47.9 cm
with original frame: 81 × 64 × 5.2 cm

Inventory number 24.B
Collection Department of Art after 1800
On view This artwork is on view at the permanent exhibition

The artist, living a life of real poetic asceticism in the Swiss Alps, painted the Maternité pictures in the 1890s. These paintings occupy a particular place among his monumental landscapes and mountain scenes of serene sensitivity. The opposing poles of demonic evil and devoted, tender motherly love appear in these canvases, which are imbued with the excitability of late 19th century Art Nouveau and Symbolism. There are four examples of this latter subject matter which vary the details and atmosphere of the same motif only with minor differences; the most representative of them and the largest in size is in the Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Milan. The Budapest picture is a piece of the series which shows possibly the greatest artistic sensitivity in its resolution, and the most unified composition. Its delicately-carved frame is an organic part of the work.

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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