1888 - 1947
The Abode

Woodcut, signed and dated ‘1932’ lower right, titled lower left
Image size: 7 1/2 x 7 3/4 inches (19 x 16.5 cm)
Contemporary frame and mount


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This is a rare opportunity to own a work by the artist Gino Carlo Sensani. In August 1944 German mines reduced his house in Florence to rubble and most of his artworks and documentations were destroyed.

This work is most likely to have been exhibited by the artist at the Venice Biennale in 1932. Sensani also exhibited in the 1924, 1926 and 1934 Biennales where he presented his new woodcut production that had been updated to fit the art deco taste of the time.


The Artist

Gino Carlo Sensani was an Italian artist that specialised in woodcuts and costume design.

Born in the province of Siena in 1888, as a young man he travelled and spent time in Paris, where he dedicated his time to painting and became well known for his woodcuts. On his return to Tuscany, he spent time with the writers Aldous Huxley and DH Lawrence and intellectuals of the calibre of Marino Moretti and Aldo Palazzeschi.

In 1912 he participated in the 1st International Woodcut Exhibition in Levanto, submitting three woodcuts. Two of these were accepted at the Parisian Salon d’Automne in 1912. In 1913 these three woodcuts were presented to the Society of Fine Arts of Florence.

In 1914 he made his debut as a costume designer for the theatre and in 1932 the artistic director of Cines, Emilio Cecchi, introduced him to a career in the cinema when he entrusted him with Guido Brignone’s film Pergolesi. The cinema seems to have been the natural outlet for Sensani’s creativity and he designed the costumes for almost 90 films collaborating with Alessandrini, Camerini, Matarazzo, Blasetti, Soldati, Lattuada, and many others.

His apprentice Dario Cecchi relates that he used to cover the card of his designs “with clean, new paper” and reused them again and again; he did so not out of frugality, rather “with extreme detachment, he would cover gouaches and watercolours that other people would undoubtedly have conserved because he was convinced that cinema was nothing but a remnant and therefore the pictorial images with which he gave visual life to cinematic tales should also become remnants.”