By Adriana Baranello

Filippo Palizzi  was born 16 June 1818 in Vasto (CH), in Abbruzzo. He was one of nine children of Antonio Palizzi and Doralice Del Greco. The Palizzi children, encouraged by their mother, were all involved in the arts (brother Giuseppe was also a noted painter). Pailzzi was accepted into the Reale Accademia delle Belle Arti in Naples, where he met and befriended Domenico Morelli. Discouraged by the strict academic painting taught as the only method, he left after only a few months. After leaving the Accademia, Palizzi joined the studio of Giuseppe Bonolis and came into contact also with the works of Giuseppe De Sanctis. The themes of Palizzi’s paintings are dominated by paessaggistica: principally landscapes, farmers, and animals. Later, after the Italian Unification (1861), Palizzi joined Cesare Dalbono in efforts to reform the Accademia that Palizzi had abandoned decades earlier.

Palizzi defined his aesthetic as concerned with what he called “finezze” and “totalità” and which were based on his conception of the “macchia.” His paintings demonstrate his preoccupation with the detailed study of light and the effects of light on visual perception. It was Palizzi’s concept of the “macchia” that led Vittorio Imbriani to develop his theoretical framework, and which then defined the works of the Macchiaoli in the later decades of the 19th century.

References: Mariantonietta Picone Petrusa, “Palizzi, Filippo,” Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, Vol. 80, Roma, Istituto dell’Enciclopedia Italiana, 2014.; “Palizzi, Filippo,” Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome,

La primavera, 1868, oil on canvas, Gallerie di Piazza Scala, Milan

Fennel Cart Attacked by Goats, 1857, oil on canvas, Private Collection

Paesaggio con pecore, oil on canvas, 1872

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