1876 - 1967
The Bathers

Woodcut on paper, signed and dated ‘1912’ bottom right
Image size: 5 x 5 1/4 (12.75 x 13.5 cm)
Mounted
£280

 

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Here the artist’s bold gouging of the material has created an evocative scene that immediately encourages a comparison with Gauguin’s work in the same medium. A multifaceted artist, Antonio De Witt remains one of the most fascinating, but least known personalities among the post-Macchiaioli.

Antonio de Witt

Antionio de Witt was an Italian painter. He was a pupil of Adolfo Tommasi and he quickly became the most refined and cultured exponent of the post-Macchiaiolo group. A witty and aristocratic mind, he practiced engravings, wrote art criticism and novels. He collaborated with the poet and critic Giobanni Pascoli, and illustrated some of his books. In 1912 he exhibited at the Levanto ‘International Woodcut Exhibition’ and in 1914 participated in the Venice Biennale and in 1915 the Roman Secession.

In 1920 he went to Argentina. Here he began to write the novel Estancia (which he published in Milan in 1925). In 1924 he made a long journey to Eritrea, then to Germany, the Netherlands and Norway. Finally, in 1928 he settled in Florence, where he held the position of director of the Cabinet of Drawings and Prints of the Uffizi . In 1958 he won the Fiorino prize, and in 1962 he was called to exhibit at the Olivetti cultural center in Ivrea.

He died in Florence on 13 June 1967. Various exhibitions were dedicated to him after his death. In 1975, a retrospective of the artist was organized at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence . In 1998 another was set up at the Gallery of Modern Art of Palazzo Pitti in Florence, curated by the art historian Francesca Cagianelli , who still takes care of the archive.