A painter and an illustrator, Aroldo Bonzagni was born in Cento, the hometown of Guercino. In his early years Bonzagni was interested in painting and music. He moved to Milan in 1905, attending the Accademia di Brera under Cesare Tallone. In Milan Bonzagni became friend with Umberto Boccioni and with Carlo Carrà and signed the first Futurist manifesto in 1910. An original and very independent artist, Aroldo Bonzagni had an extremely critical personal opinion about the elegant society of the times; he refined his illustrative style at musical evenings at the Theatre of the Scala and his encounters with the élite at the San Siro racecourse. Bonzagni designed caricatures for the socialist daily paper 'L'Avanti' and exhibited at the Venice Biennial in 1912 and 1914. In 1914 he lived in Buenos Aires, exhibiting his paintings and working as a caricaturist for the magazine 'El Zorro'. He was back in Milan in 1915 and was accepted as an honorary member of the Academy of Brera in 1915 and of the Society of Belle Arti ed Esposizione Permanente in 1917. Bonzagni died in 1918 after catching the so-called 'Spanish flu' while he was preparing a large exhibition for the Pesaro Gallery in Milan.
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY: Lucio Scardino, 'Aroldo Bonzagni. Cento disegni inediti', catalogue of the exhibition, Portomaggiore, 1986; Vittorio Sgarbi, 'Aroldo Bonzagni', catalogue of the exhibition, Acqui Terme, 2005.