Giacomo Balla

Portrait of Fontana, 1907
Ritratto di Fontana

Oil on canvas
50.2 x 69.8 cm

Carlo Fontana (1865-1956) was an important Italian sculptor in the period spanning the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. He exhibited alongside Giacomo Balla with the society Amatori e Culturi di Roma, and in 1907, around the time Balla painted the present portrait, he joined the group's selection committee. Fontana is shown relaxing on the balcony of Balla's studio. A large eucalyptus tree appears in the background. Balla's pre-futurist style reflects the direct influence of the Divisionist painters Previati, Segantini and Pelliza da Volpedo, who rebelled against the prevailing academic conventions and provincialism of late 19th-century Italian painting.

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