By Costanza Beltrami

Painter Eugenio Gignous died on 30 august 1906 in Stresa, on Lake Maggiore. Born in 1850, Gignous studied at the Accademia di Brera in Milan, where he specialized in landscape painting and befriended established artists such as Carlo Mancini and Antonio Fontanesi. He was close to the Scuola di Rivara, a loose group of artist who gathered in the Canavese area of Piedmont to paint luminous plein-air landscapes.

When the group dispersed in the 1870s, Gignous associated with the Scapigliati, a term derived from the novel Scapigliatura(1862) by Cletto Arrighi, which literally means “the restless.” The Scapigliati pursued the fusion of the arts and realized atmospheric paintings with soft contours, open brushwork, and impasto, as in Gignous’ Flowers in the cloister (1877). The artist traveled frequently during this period, exhibiting work at the Weltaustellung in Vienna in 1873 and the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1878.

Over the following decade, Scapigliati Filippo Carcano and Daniele Ranzoni introduced Gignous to the area of Lake Maggiore. The lake and the surrounding Alps became a prominent motif of Gignous’ work, who settled in Stresa in 1886.

Reference: Paul Nicholls. “Gignous, Eugenio.” Grove art Online. Oxford art Online. Oxford University Press.

The Environs of Milan or Washerwomen at the Magolfa, 1870, oil on canvas. Milan: Fondazione Cariplo.

Pianura Lombarda, 1871, oil on canvas. Verbania: Museo del Paesaggio, gift of Queen Margherita di Savoia.

Flowers in the Cloister, 1877, oil on canvas. Milan: Pinacoteca di Brera.

Monte Rosa, 1896, oil on canvas. Rome: Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna.

On the Mottarone, 1886, oil on canvas. Milan: Civiche Raccolte d’Arte.

Ligurian Seascape, 1895-1900, oil on canvas. Milan: Fondazione Cariplo.

First Snow, 1890-1900, oil on canvas. Piacenza, Galleria d’Arte Moderna Ricci Oddi.

Feriolo on Lake Maggiore, 1900, oil on canvas. Milan: Gallerie di Piazza Scala.

Fletschhorn, 1900, oil on canvas. Verbania: Museo del Paesaggio, gift of the Dukes of Genoa.

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