By Anne Leader

Italian sculptor, painter, caricaturist, and author Adriano Cecioni died on 23 May 1886 in Florence. He was 49. Born in the Tuscan town of Fontebuona, Cecioni trained at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence with the sculptor Aristodemo Costoli. Cecioni associated with the so-called macchiaioli, a group of Florentine painters who associated at mid-century and had much in common with the Barbizon school in France.

Like Camille Corot and other Barbizon and later Impressionist painters, the macchiaioli were plein-air painters, working outside directly from the world around them wit great interest in the effects of light and shade on color. They congregated at the Caffè Michelangiolo, where they shared ideas and news of broader European trends learned through travel and banned foreign periodicals. Cecioni painted an amusing view of a day in the life of the cafe in 1861.

Cecioni moved to Naples in 1863 and formed what became known as the Scuola di Resina with painters Giuseppe de Nittis, Marco de Gregorio, and Federico Rosano. He also spent time in Paris in 1879 and in London, where he was employed in 1872 as a caricaturist for Vanity Fair. He returned to Italy where he continued to explore scenes of everyday life in his sculpture and paintings. He also wrote numerous articles and essays on contemporary art, which were anthologized after his death.

Philip Ward-Jackson. “Cecioni, Adriano.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press.

Nancy Gray Troyer. “Macchiaioli.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press.

Child with a Rooster, marble, 1868, Florence, Palazzo Pitti, Galleria d’Arte Moderna

Portrait of Cecioni, ca. 1900

La zia Erminia (Aunt Erminia), 1867-70

Statesmen No.115: Caricature of Mr S Morley MP, Caption reads: “Dissent,“ Vanity Fair, 15 June 1872

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