Watercolour, signed LConconi; 380 x 240 mm. This is the original drawing for the cover of the novel Port-Tarascon, by Alphonse Daudet, published in Paris by Dentu-Guillaume in 1890, that was the first job as illustrator commissioned in Paris to Conconi, thanks to the mediation of his friend Luigi Rossi, who already worked as illustrator in France. See M. Bianchi, G. Ginex, Luigi Conconi incisore, Milan, 1994; pages 18 and 19.
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.