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Plinio Nomellini
The first reading lesson
1906

Oil on canvas, 167 x 167 cm

An original personality in the effervescent artistic world at the dawn of the century, Nomellini followed the development of optical research into chromatic division, sharing with his friends Pellizza da Volpedo and Segantini his passion for technical experimentation.
While the various movements beyond the Alps were characterized by firm intentions and strong personalities, the situation in Italy was different. Here there was decidedly more composite and varied approach, as can also be seen in Nomellini’s very particular artistic career. Initially a participating observer of the social aspirations of his day, at the turn of the century and, in particular, in years leading up to the Great War, he increasingly looked to more domestic subjects. These included sunny summer afternoons on vacation with his family, which gave him a pretext for making new experiments with the technique of divided colour. This can be seen in “The first reading lesson”, part of a precious groups of canvases painted between 1905 and 1912, in which reality opens up to symbolist influences and echoes of northern art. Here Nomellini reinterprets the divisionist technique in a highly personal vision, brought to life by long brushstrokes and strong, luminous tones, once again revealing his colouristic virtuosity.