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.
Luigi Conconi was an architect, painter and illustrator. Born in a Milanese middle-class family, he was the nephew of the painter Mauro Conconi. Luigi studied architecture at the Accademia di Brera and at the Politecnico in Milan, and he used his architectural training occasionally throughout his career. After attending the Politecnico, he became acquainted with the literary and artistic circles of the Scapigliatura: Tranquillo Cremona and Daniele Ranzoni influenced his early paintings. In the 1880s Conconi moved from the Realism of Scapigliatura toward Symbolism, developing an interest in visionary themes. He received international recognition from awards in Paris in 1900 and in Munich in 1913. Conconi was also a skilful and sensitive printmaker, who revived the art of the etching in Lombardy, being the leading exponent of the acquaforte monotipata, an etching printed leaving a surplus of ink on the plate to create evocative effects. Conconi printed personally almost all his own plates.