Etching (acquaforte monotipata); a fine impression, richly and skillfully printed in black ink with surface tone, on white wove paper. Second state of two. With the artist's monogram in the surface tone LC. With wide margins, in very good condition. Signed in pencil at the right of bottom margin LConconi. To the platemark 248 x 334 mm; the entire sheet measuring 457 x 630 mm. See M. Bianchi, G. Ginex, Luigi Conconi incisore, Milan, 1994; cat. no. 31.
Conconi was commissioned by the magazine Cronaca d'Arte to execute caricatural illustrations to the comedy by Luigi Illica La Sottoprefettura di Rogagnecca, a satire on the relationship between politics and the Church. This print represents a convivial scene of the second act.
Conconi studied architecture at the Accademia di Brera and the Politecnico di Milano. He came into contact with members of the literary and artistic circles of the Scapigliatura – the Italian equivalent of the French Bohème– notably Tranquillo Cremona and Daniele Ranzoni, both of whom influenced his early paintings. In the 1880s Conconi moved from the Realism of Scapigliatura toward Symbolism. The awards he received in Paris in 1900 and Munich in 1913 led to his international recognition.
Conconi, who personally saw to the production of virtually all his plates, was the leading exponent in Lombardy of Acquaforte monotipata. This technique involved the artist drawing directly onto the ink covering the plate, prior to pulling the impression. In this way each resultant print has different characteristics.