The activity in Cremona of Giovanni Carnovali called Piccio is testified by several paintings contained in the legacy of the brothers Enrico and Giuseppe Finzi. Born in Segrino (Varese) in 1804, Picci attended the Canova Accademy in Bergamo with Giuseppe Diotti (who was from Casalmaggiore) and then started to get in contact with the Cremonese environment.

Piccio experimented from the very beginning an autonomous style, different from the one of this teacher, both in the choice of the models from the Lombardy and Emilia tradition, and in the choice of his themes like the landscape, the erotic dream and the portraits.

His painting style is new, especially for the bright colors and the fading contours, which testify his refusal of the neo-classic style. Piccio sets his sentiments free and he follows the development of the historical Romanticism.

After a stay in Casalmorano, in the house of the Malossi sisters, who asked him to decorate their living room with wall mythological paintings (lost) and paid a stay in Rome for the painter (1831), Piccio went to Cremona, where he met the local middle-class. The Cremonese citizens of the first and second half of the 19th Century are depicted as farmers and Piccio focuses also on the cultural, social and political panorama of that age. In these paintings, partially arrived to the museum, the painting style and the free use of the colors testify the painters’ spontaneity and his observation of the reality.

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