CAMPIGLI Massimo
Italian painter, born in Florence in 1895. Campigli began to paint in Paris, working according to the plastic laws set out in Ozenfant and Jeanneret's review, L'Esprit Nouveau. 'In the manner of a bee,' writes Jean Paulhan, ' Campigli begins by enclosing his characters in their cells.' Certainly like a bee, also like the Cubists, although his work is more reminiscent of Etruscan and Roman painting than of Braque and Picasso. He is not insensitive, either, to metaphysical painting, and his figures have 'faces of a magical truth, as exact as anthropometric record cards, as impersonal as death masks'. His busts shaped like money-boxes, and his women shaped like amphoras, have a universal quality, as old as the earth. They are entirely different from Chirico's mannequins, whose oval skulls are full of tragic humanity, whereas Campigli's heads are empty. His women, however, have the same pleasing grace as Scurat's promenaders; their waists are extremely slender, and their arms stand out from their sides like the handles of a vase. He borrowed the anatomy of his figures from the world of childhood. At a time when the painters of his generation are constantly in search of youth, or the illusion of it, Campigli stays faithful to himself, to the poetic, painted world of his dreams.
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