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Giovanni Malesci


Giovanni Malesci (1884-1969) was born in Vespignano, a small village in Tuscany. The bad economic situation of the parents forced him to start working when he was very young.
The young artist took advantage of every single moment that he was free, to dedicate himself to his one big passion, that is drawing. His sketches striked both his countrymen and the florentine painter Raffaello Sorbi (1844-1931), who tryed to convince the family of Malesci to let him study and concentrate on his art.
Even if the family's financial situation, doesn’t allow him to study or to leave the small village. The turning point of his career is the meeting with another artist, very famous and talented, Giovanni Fattori. He receives Malesci in his studio for free, in 1903.
Fattori has the chance to see some drawing by Malesci and immediatly understand that his pupil could have been a real talent. The master Fattori and his pupil have a good relationship, the student stays till his teacher’s death in 1908. Even after years, and for all his life, Malesci will remember this great Painter with attachment and respect, at first as his student, and then as a heir of his art.
The Fattori’s teaching was strict and based first of all on the drawing technique, with a particular attention to the volumes the shadows and only in a second moment to the color.
Malesci started exhibiting between 1904 and 1906 once he had the Painter qualification, signed by the secretary of the Royal Institute of Fine Arts of Florence and certificated by Fattori himself. When Fattori died, Malesci found out to be the only heir of the painter. This news, makes Malesci very happy but at the same time gave him the will to mantain the memory of his guide. He made his best to promote and perpetuate the artistic work of Fattori.
The following years he continued his activity, exposing in Tuscany and meanwhile in the aim to promote Fattori also abroad organized an Exhibition dedicated to him in the Excelsior gallery of Paris. Beside the french capital there should have been other cities, but with the beginning of the war he had to take back the paintings to Italy.
He got married in 1915 but in 1917 he had to go in war and serve the country. He didn't live the war as a front line soldier, fortunately he was just a simple driver soldier, anyway the experience he lived influenced his art. Is possible to notice this influence on the artworks he made during the few breaks he could have: there are groups of soldiers, figures, places of a fight, and landscapes of the what was near the front line. Once discharged in 1919, he came back to his Florence.
In the early ‘20s he exposes in: the first Biennale of Rome (1921), the Primaverile of Florence (1922) and attends the contests Stiebert and Ussi (1924). The real goal was the exhibition in 1925, in Niccolini Gallery of Florence, with almost 80 paintings: this is the real big personal exposition on Malesci. He moved to Milan for a short time, and then to Genoa , Rome and in Holland. But soon he came back to Milan, beacuse he wanted to confront with a new reality, modern and open. Here in 1929 exhibited a personal exposition in the Micheli Gallery, where he had the chance to met Carlo Carrà.
Milan became for the painter a second home town, and here he contiuned his exposition activity thanks to Bolzoni Gallery and the publication of the first monography signed by Giorgio Nicodemi. In these years of intense activity he often came back to his village and to Florence, but he also fell in love with Belgium, Brittany and Normandy, that had inspired him for new views and landscapes.
The last exhibition was the one in Milan in 1964 in the Vinciniana Gallery, where he also celebrated his 80th birthday, and 60th of his career.
After moving to Liguria, he died in Milan in 1969.

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