Segantini and the photographs of the soul
Giovanni Segantini was born in Arco near Trento in 1858, but spent his life in Milan and Brianza first, before ending up in Switzerland and the Engadine. He died on September 28, 122 years ago.
He is rightly considered one of the greatest Italian painters and associated with divisionism technique.
However, he began following the Brera academy, realism and gradually created his own style.
The story of one of his paintings, not yet divisionist, is interesting. entitled "A first mass".
You see a beautiful curved staircase with a priest, who goes up holding a sacred text behind him. The Church still stands today in Veduggio, in Brianza, but Segantini does not paint it as it really is.
In fact, the staircase is in front of the facade that Segantini instead moves to the side, “Turn” the church 180 degrees.
This is how the image gains weight and comes out of the banal. In this way the old priest who climbs the stairs to heaven, and not to the church, finds more meaning, as if it were a symbol of meditation and existential reflection.
A first version of the picture it was different and on the stairs Segantini had drawn a pregnant woman descending the staircase with a significant title "Not acquitted".
This theme did not fully convince him, and so Giovanni Segantini painted, above the first version, this definitive version of a completely different subject.