By Maggie Bell
Emilio Notte died 7 July 1982 in Naples. Born in Ceglie Messapica on 30 January 30 1891, Notte was a prolific painter with a diverse oeuvre that has been classified as Post-Impressionist and Futurist. At the age of fifteen Notte was seent to Naples to study at the Accademia di Belle Arti where he trained under Vicenzo Volpe, a student of Domenico Morelli. Soon thereafter, Notte’s family moved to Prato, which caused him to transfer to the Accademia di Belle Arte in Florence. During this time Notte developed a friendship with Giovanni Fattori through whom he met other Italian artist whose work addressed the conditions of the modern world. Through this network Notte eventually met the foundational members of the Futurist movement, including Filippo Marinetti who he would later follow to Milan.
While embracing aspects of the Futurist doctrine, including the interest in schematization and abstracted geometric forms (Notte was a signatory on the Manifesto sul fondamento lineare geometrico), he had been deeply affected by the horrors of World War I, and many of his painting addressed human suffering at the hands of modern warfare.
In 1929, Notte returned to Naples where had begun his education but found that the city had, in his view, changed from a “fabulous” and “authentic” city full of opportunity (Notte, 1974) to a place of isolation where his Futurist identity was not accepted. His work during this period is of a more probing psychological nature, with an interest in representing the residual trauma of the war.
Emilio Notte. Rome, Italy: Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica. Palazzo Barberini, 1974.
“NOTTE, Emilio.” Benezit Dictionary of Artists. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press, accessed July 5, 2017, http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/benezit/B00131573
I poveri di Prato, 60x 60 cm, 1906, Nappo Collection
Piazza Battistero A Firenze, 60x 90 cm, 1916, Notte Collection
Soldato e sentinella, 100 x 120 cm, 1919, D’Agostino Collection
Autoritratto, 40x 50 cm, 1937, Private Collection
Cavatori di Marmo, 100x 140 cm, 1964, Borghese Collection