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Macchiaioli

The Macchiaioli

The art of the Macchiaioli and the eponymous Movement were born in Florence in 1855 thanks to the strong concerns of a group of young artists who found in the Caffé Michelangelo, located in the Tuscan capital, a meeting and exchange point. Thanks to this continuous contact and swarm of ideas, in 1862 the term "Macchiaioli" was coined to refer to the Florentine group of artists, used for the first time in the "Gazzetta del popolo".


Style and technique of Macchiaioli paintings

The artists belonging to the Movement used a very particular technique for painting. The painting of the Macchiaioli consisted, as the name suggests, in the use of patches of colors through which it was possible to create figures and luminous effects without the need for lines and geometric points, nonexistent in nature. According to them, in fact, forms are not generated by contours, but by the impact of light on bodies that in this way take shape in our eyes. Thanks to this new vision, the artists were able to develop a unique and completely new style at the time.


Precursors of Impressionism

The idea of reproducing reality as seen from life, without the artificiality of geometric lines and with a special attention to light, as observed in the paintings of the Macchiaioli, are elements that the Tuscan artists undoubtedly have in common with the Impressionists, of whom they can be considered a sort of precursor, with the due differences, of course. In fact, if for macchiaiolismo the importance was luminosity, for the impressionists it was the impression of light.


The subjects of the Macchiaioli

In an era when the Neoclassical and Romantic traditions were very strong, the Macchiaioli stand out for their realist taste and their predilection for everyday life subjects: the reproduction of humble family scenes, and rural and real-life landscapes, far from myths and legends, were the favorite subjects of the Macchiaiolists.

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