FOUR FINE ETCHINGS BY MOSÈ BIANCHI
The purchase of four etchings by Mosè Bianchi, beautiful impressions apparently belonging to the same edition, made me curious to learn more about the activity of this artist who was a prolific etcher, but rarely investigated by experienced eyes. To understand his activity as a printmaker, the overview offered by Lamberto Vitali in his 1972 essay Incisioni Lombarde del Secondo Ottocento all’Ambrosiana is crucial. Vitali did not especially like Mosè Bianchi's somewhat frivolous genre painting, but, with regard to printmaking, he perfectly understood his competence and level of technical refinement. E’ innegabile che fin dall’inizio le risorse tecniche di Mosè Bianchi furono piene, che ad esse si accoppiarono quasi sempre uno scrupolo esecutivo, una paziente elaborazione della lastra, nel mischiare e nell’intrecciare le tecniche più diverse - acquaforte, acquatinta, puntasecca, rotella -, sfruttando via via differenti velature d’inchiostro per ottenere differenti effetti monotipici.
Since I live in Milan and am often in Florence, I have compared my four etchings with other fine impressions of the same plates preserved at the Bertarelli and the Ambrosiana libraries and at the Uffizi's Cabinet of drawings and prints (GDSU). Mine was more of an assessment from a 'bird's eye' view, which does not claim to be rigorous, but which certainly showed me that Bianchi's more subtle technical refinements as an etcher can only be fully appreciated in his early impressions. Also that the dissemination of Bianchi’s prints from worn plates (I am thinking of the reprints in the 1960s) certainly did not favour full appreciation of his abilities.
Mezzetti, Amalia, L’acquaforte lombarda nelle seconda metà dell'800, Famiglia Meneghina Editrice, Milan, 1935
Vitali, Lamberto, Incisioni lombarde del secondo Ottocento all'Ambrosiana, Neri Pozza, Fontes Ambrosiani, Vicenza, 1970
Biscottini, Paolo, Mosè Bianchi. Catalogo ragionato, Federico Motta Editore, Milan, 1996