This section shows thoughts, interviews, comments of Eugenio Da Venezia.

My thoughts about Art

Painting was and is the biggest passion of my life, I dare say my life itself. Since the early years of my youth Venice wondered me and it seems to me as a dream city … ..; its channels, the magnificent palaces, churches, one of San Marco with its mosaics, the ducal palace, the lagoon with its islands scattered, with its sandbanks, these were for me all the things that gave me the feeling of living in an unreal world, a world of enchantment.
Venice has fed my youthful enthusiasm for Arts, giving to me the ardent desire to deepen increasingly the study of painting. The Great Masters of Venetian painting from the'400 '700 excited me, as well as painting of the last half of' 800 represented by painters of great value fascinated me .. Should I write an entire book to explain the feelings, emotions, that all these beauties environmental provoked in me, or to remember the artists in that environment had worked.
They were certainly the colour and poetry that emanated by their art the things that I felt and I more attracted. All my study was aimed at Great Masters of colour, which inspired humbly to nature with all its mystery. But as deepened the study of painting, the more I looked that it was a huge thing to be acquired: it was necessary to take possession of form, the various techniques that conquer, in other words, learn even the so-called job. All studies extremely necessary.
I realized that the art is quite another thing! The Art is a gift of a few and it comes only when an artist feel like a vocation, is a force that must be born from the “io” interior, is a fever that burns and when you hear this impulse to express must do so at any time of day, at night, to be healthy or sick, there is the inability to escape its influence: behold because I support that Art is not a profession, a profession but a vocation…. a gift exceeding…. "Divine"!
I feel painting as a gentle and poetic music that sometimes takes on dramatic accents, I feel like a feeling fantastic and unreal fills resonance arcane: and all this music that flows from the depths of my I must be transformed by visual perception of colour.
Often I realize that just a brushstroke incorrect, not corresponding to this harmony felt, to ruin, destroy the work undertaken…. just like a note of tune in music performance can ruin a beautiful symphony of a great musician. It happened to stay from months in bed sick and god feel overbearing the need to paint. The doctor advised this peremptorily to me , explained to me that this effort could make to me very serious consequences, but it was so great inner strength that pushed me to paint that I didn’t listen the council even if the offending me could lead to fatal consequences. I had to give vent to that impulse felt in me.
I do not say this to demonstrate any particular skill, but humbly to explain my nature. In contrast, however, I had periods of lacking in will power not to touch brushes for months and not to feel any desire to see my paintings or even of any great artists.
I studied both the large painting of the past, ancient and modern and I arrived at a conclusion: only the great artists, painters and sculptors have touched and met with their art the mystery of nature. I think this is the true "abstract" or is that for a lot of criticism I am not a modern painter, current, futuristic, with all the…. Isms…. etc., but an artist traditionalist perhaps already passed…. everything can be…. but I can declare that more than a few painter so-called "Abstractive" admired my painting because he felt alive, now…. how I perceive that I feel in my time, because I follow all the events, inventions, the culture of now. My sensitivity is always open to all the most varied and disparate achievements, both in art and in science: certain that today we live in a confusing era, in which, in art everything is permitted and no longer exists. They are products of the time in which we live, for both wars, politics, which for the great achievements of science, but art is above all warnings and human affairs.
The Art is something too big, serious, eternal and is therefore always been only a few conquest.
I remember a written to me directed by the great painter Pierre Bonnard who had admired my work exposed to Biennials Venice in 1932 and en 1934, and I wrote: "for an artist like you, with important quality and great sensitivity to colour, the advice that I would give is to deepen the study of form, in order to master and sometimes seemingly destroy ", as well Gino Rossi said," it is not built with colour: it builds with the form. " I gave that advice as the most precious thing I had from my Masters. To be faithful to the board, despite having followed all the regular academic studies I and my big friend and artist Marco Novati to spend two years in the winter months, in the hall anatomical civil hospital and we supplied by some small bottle of brandy, full of enthusiasm we started drawing from the true anatomical pieces to deepen increasingly knowledge of the human body, namely the form. I think this study, the most important and profitable to understand and catch it.
The works here presents are a summary of work from 1930 to now and they are still small thing for me in comparison to what I have achieved. Some works for me is important collections from galleries that private collectors, especially from France, Duc de Trèvise etc.. and Switzerland, are not arrive in time to be exposed, because for over three months I was locked in bed sick.
I dedicated this exhibition, to which I had the honour of being invited by the Council of Bevilacqua La Masa, my Dear Woman died an year ago, that she followed, helped, supported and recommended my painting research. I could say that the little I did is by her great love and her selflessness.
Maybe I would feel yet prepared enough: I wanted to be able to do much more. Forgive! ….

1968, VENEZIA - Mostra Antologica, invitato dal Comune di Venezia alla “Bevilacqua La Masa” - 08 - 22/11/1968. Presented by Dr. Guido Perocco.

Eugenio Da Venezia and Cesare Mainella

I knew the painter Cesare Mainella yet to the first collective and personal exhibitions of Ca 'Pesaro. Of his painting, I was left only some vague memory, then for many years i lost sight of him. I saw again after the end of the Second World War, in 1948. It was a meeting purely friendly and he told to me his adventurous life. So I knew that he had spent many years abroad, America and Africa, where he had worked and collected a lot of satisfactions and complacencies.
But a real contact with his painting i had in the late autumn of last year (1967) when I was near Treporti, where often, i walk around and i paint. This meeting, truly random, was very pleased by me and on this occasion i had the opportunity to see many of his works. Those works, that struck me most, were a series of pastels executed in Africa and South America: i was surprised by their significant freshness, and representation, very simplicity expressive and very colour. They released a vein pictorial uncommon, a great love and a great enthusiasm for interpretation in making the environment that, for him, revealed full of beauty, nature and exuberant burst so, so warm and lush. And what about the portrait of his wife executed at the age of 35 years? It is a really important where reveals a great sensitivity to color, a work suffused in a warm poetic vein, as well as the girl who works with the “tombolo”: the two paintings demonstrate a personality of pure painter.
We live in an age very strange; we see exhibitions and personal every day, where qualities are told to us when these perhaps have never existed. It’s a period in which are created suddenly celebrities and after some years they are outdated and forgotten; where are taken for genuine art forms, expressions pictorial incomprehensible, insincere, without any formal quality as bu the colour, as by any spiritual content.
Art is long, art is simplicity, art is pure revelation of human feelings. Leonardo says ... "If you don’t like painting, which is the only copy of all the works of nature evident, for sure you don’t like a subtle invention which, with subtle and philosophical speculation, considers all the qualities of form (sea, plants, animals, herbs, flowers) which are walls of shadow and light. Painting born by its nature ... because all the obvious things were born from nature, from which came the painting".
And, then, why not recognize a true artist when meet him? How can we not recognize in this painter how much youth, how much love as desire to express his soul in these poetic its work? ... his painting is alive, is simple, is full of poetry. If i have to express a wish, i don’t send to Mainella, because his painting has no need of encouragement; i send a wish to the young artists: look these paintings, which learn to be painting so young, as this young old Venetian artist is.

From a comment of 1968 by Eugenio Da Venezia

Personal thoughts about Art of Eugenio Da Venezia written between 1986/87

Venetian painting is essentially color. This was shown by our great masters of the past as Bellini (particularly Giovanni), Giorgione, Tiziano, Veronese, Tiepolo and the Venetian 1700 with Canaletto and Guardi. This was understood by the French Impressionists as Manet, Renoir, etc..
In this environment where the water emerges and wraps all forms, houses, buildings, architectures, boats, gondolas, etc.. in an atmosphere suffused with light, creating a poetic spell in harmony and symphony of color. In this environment the Venetian painting was born .... This was understood by early French impressionists, Manet, Renoir, etc.. and from them the current impressionistic was born.
The paint needs to rebuild with the light and to emerge in nature, because from nature it is possible to find new lymph and new life. It has found a way to express and to show all its greatness and beauty. In this environment water, sky, light create a painting labyrinth of color because they are in contact with the architecture and the various forms.

Light iridescent, pearl grey , vision between dream and reality.

Paris, 1947, autobiographical facts and thoughts on Art writings between 1986/87

I returned to Paris in 1947 after the first period before the war (from 1935 to 38) in which i was invited by the Duc de Trevise Sauvegarde de l'Art Francaise. In my last stay, i had contacts with several art managers and galleries, including the Gallery de France where it was direct by Mr. Caputo.
At that time the gallery had the exhibition of the painter Manessier (Alfred Manessier Saint-Quen 1911 - Paris 1983), an abstract painter; I was impressed by the character of these paintings – with big dimensions, with vertical stripes in the shape of a vertical pipe organ with a color angular zone various from yellow, red, blue, etc.. - not understanding the meaning of these paintings, i ask a comment to Caputo (i carry over his words): "this picture is the battle of Anghiesi" and i replied, "Caputo, i think you jokes, I can not believe otherwise”, but he continued "this picture was purchased by a bishop," and i think that he said a name ... sincerely i was so surprised.
So Caputo continued: "dear Da Venezia, you should know that art is a wonderful thing very difficult to achieve and when in France we have few great artists and at the same time there are a number of galleries around 300 to 500 only in Paris, of these only ten of great class with artists as living Matisse, Utrillo, Bonnard. At the same time these galleries have enormous rents to pay to stay in the center of Paris with branch office in other cities and foreign capitals like London, New York, Chicago, Buenos Aires, etc., and at the same time these have to pay employees and others kind of costs … the galleries are obliged to have only great artists of international fame to sell the paintings at prices of several million francs, otherwise they would have a continuing failure, so you understand me dear Da Venezia. So how to solve this problem if the big artists are too few to provide enough material for about fifteen galleries throughout the year? It’s necessary to set a trend, to promote the art with invented forms, to recharge selected artists, with the opinion of critics and merchants, having quality and creativity by encouraging them to abstract forms out of reality. Our experience of merchants led us to understand that the audience, who loves art and painting, is composed by a large part that has great sensitivity towards artists as Renoir, Manet, Utrillo, Bonnard, but at the same time hasn’t money to buy and at the same time a part of the public with many resources ready to spend a lot of money to have paintings. Among them there are various galleries state, municipal, foreign and French ... and at the end with this experience, we have encouraged these artists and created a sort of trend, because the market could survive ..."
As a result we have Picasso with his heads, figures altered, cut, segments and composed with abstract geometric shapes, etc. ... a world that completely reversed the respect for reality and the negotiation of beauty as traditionally understood for centuries of art. That is, we have the negotiation of the concept that the Byzantines to the post - impressionists were a source of inspiration: la nature.
Here it could cite the words of the great Leonardo (Treatise on Painting) "if you refine painting, which is only imitator of all visible works of nature, for sure you spurned a fine invention which with philosophy and subtle speculation considers all the quality of forms: sea, sites, plants, animals, herbs, flowers which are with shadows and lights ... the painting is born by nature ... because all the existing things are born from nature and from which the painting is born ...
A painter will have his painting of little excellence if he copies the art of others, but if he learns from natural things he will obtained good results ... (id. id.) ...
When i reported about the explanation of Caputo, about my disbelief in front of paintings by Manesse, the incomprehensible problem is to give a name to a painting which doesn’t exist a minimum relationship between the subject and the forms.
When i came back to Italy after few months i went to the ministry of public education, as a teacher of painting in teaching decorative painting at the Istituto d’Arte of Venice and i met the general director De Angelis. Here i reported about the interview with Caputo in Paris. This report was found interesting that De Angelis asked to me one paying me by the ministry with 300 or 400 thousand lire. I didn’t accept justifying that as a painter i didn’t like to raise controversy and trouble with critics and journalists ... but maybe i committed a mistake because it was the right time in which absurd forms and denial art was growing.

© 2008