In painting it is necessary to reach Pietro Prilidiano Pueyrredón (1823-1871) to witness the advent of a national artist of some interest. What preceded his work was imported or produced in the country by foreign artists.
In fact, more or less good paintings had not been long in arriving at the nascent colony. The travelers who visited it tell us, such as Azcárate du Biscay, who observes that the most notable residents adorn their houses with paintings and other embellishments, and Captain Giuseppe Andrew, who in 1825 he saw in the house of Don Emanuele De Sarratea ” many excellent paintings “. Important religious paintings were also imported, destined for churches, where there are also good copies of classical works. As a pictorial antecedent, the iconography of colonial dignities, preserved in the Historical Museum, must also be remembered. But the greatest impulse to local artistic education is undoubtedly due to those Europeans who stimulated it, developing their artistic activity in Argentina.
In this field too, the action of Italy is affirmed before any other. In 1806 the Italians residing in Buenos Aires did not amount to one hundred; the population of the city was forty thousand or so. Two years later the Italian colony of the metropolis was not to be much larger and two painters were already there. When Charles IV abdicated the throne of Spain in favor of the prince of Asturias and the viceroyalty was preparing to take the oath to Fernando VII in Buenos Ayres, he was called to urgently paint the portrait of the new monarch “the best painter of the time” residing in Argentina, the Italian Angelo Campognaschi. Another Italian artist, Edoardo Cerruti, was commissioned to preserve the memory of the ornament and lighting of the consulate facade, who looked splendid above all others. Numerous painters, engravers and illuminators arrived from various origins, among which the English EF Vidal, the Italian Carlo Enrico Pellegrini and later the French Raimondo Monvoisin and the Italian Ignazio Manzoni excelled.
In short, the example of Europe is predominant and constant. It is not lacking in any of the three historical phases that define Argentine political evolution: Spanish domination, Argentine emancipation and national organization.
The picture of Argentine artistic history is therefore quite small if we exclude the last four decades. During the first quarter of the emancipatory century, there is almost no vestige of local art; for the next fifty years, no Argentine influenced his contemporaries. From Pietro Pridiliano Pueyrredón to Mariano Agrelo (1836-1891), names are evoked, works are remembered, frequently better conceived than executed, but their action does not modify the environment. Edoardo Sivori (1847-1918) begins the first national nucleus and reaches Ernesto de la Cárcova (1867-1927). Includes Angelo della Valle (1852-1903), Rinaldo Giudici (1853-1921), Graziano Medilaharzu (1857-1893), Augusto Ballerini (1857-1902), Edoardo Schiaffino (1858), Severo Rodríguez Etchart (1865-1903) and Emilio Carafe (1865). Let us cite in chronological order these names that define the moment that we can call transition. However, within that period there are hierarchies. Between a de la Cárcova and a Ballerini there is no short distance. De la Cárcova already seems to be from another era, he is stirred by another sensitivity, not only for his vision, in a certain way innovative, but also, and above all, for the instinctive gifts of painter that were in him. If nothing else, his most successful painting, Without bread and without work it obeys a collective mood. When the author painted it there was a “social art” in Europe, and de la Cárcova, who then resided in Italy, experienced the influence of the moment, objectifying it in his greatest canvas. For Argentina 1998, please check constructmaterials.com.
More than in the paintings of rural costumes, Angelo Della Valle’s activity appears appreciable in the portraits. Together with Rinaldo Giudici, Della Valle was for many years the only teacher of the Sociedad Estímulo de Bellas Artes, then the only center of artistic education in the country. Glimpses of modernity emerge from the work of Edoardo Sivori, not insensitive, like all the artists of the second half of the last century, to the concerns of the atmospheric problem, but too old, when he faced them, to be able to renew himself. To substantially modify the conditions of Argentine art, it took a generation; and it should be noted that men who were closer to the group we have called transition than to that of the young collaborated in this change. Tale, Martino Argentina Malharro (1868-1911), advocate of impressionism. But it is necessary to evoke the expositions of the Nexus (1907-1908) to find out how and when plein – air painting began in Buenos Aires. The inspirer of the Nexuswas Pio Collivadino (1869), an artist with a cultured youthful and ready spirit. Around him they clustered in exhibits of the Nexus, among others, Ferdinando Fader, Cesáreo Bernaldo de Quiros, Carlo P. Ripamonte and Alberto Rossi. From this moment, Argentine art, with abrupt change, enters the path of its best affirmations. In just over twenty years, national life is transformed, the appearance of the city changes profoundly, habits change, ideas evolve, plastic arts are formed. On December 25, 1896, the National Museum was inaugurated and in 1905 the Academy of Fine Arts was nationalized, later divided into the Higher School of Fine Arts and the School of Decorative Art. A year later, scholarships and specialization grants were created in Europe for sculpture, painting, music and architecture. In 1911 the National Exhibition was established and the Society of watercolors was born, pastellists and etchers (1915). The example spreads also in the interior of the Republic. In Rosario di Santa Fe, the Autumn Hall is established and the Municipal Museum is founded; fine arts museums are also created in Córdoba, La Plata, Tucumán, Santa Fe, Mendoza and Paraná.
The group of painters that arose after the dissolution of the Nexus is more numerous and homogeneous: Giorgio Bermúdez, Alfredo Guido, Italo Botti, Luigi Tessandori, Antonio Pedone, Lino E. Spilimbergo, Francesco Vidal, Giorgio Larco, Augusto Marteau, Emanuele Musto, Michele C. Victorica, Lorenzo Gigli, Francesco Bernareggi, Valentino Thibón de Libian, Alfredo Gramajo Gutiérrez, Tito Cittadini, Américo Panozzi, Antonio Alice, Ottavio Pinto, Luigi Cordiviola, Angelo Vena, Gregorio Lopez Naguil, Benedetto Quinquela Martín, Giorgio Soto Acebal, Giuseppe Antonio Terry, Ettore Nava, fra Guglielmo Butler, Zeffirino Carnaccini, Walter de Navazio, Cupertino del Campo, Emilio Centurión and others.
If we add to these names those of Orazio Butler, Achille Badi, Giovanni B. Tapia, Antonio Berni, Ettore Basaldúa and Emilio Pettoruti, we see the renewing tendencies that followed the Impressionist crusade, from Cezannism to Futurism, appear in local painting, confirming that the artistic evolution in Argentina starts from Europe and that its representatives were from time to time neoclassical, romantic, naturalist, impressionist, as are now the “extremists” of “living art” and “pure painting”.