Etching, c. 1893-96; a fine impression, richly and skillfully printed, working on the surface tone with monotypic effects, on wove white paper. Second state of two. Signed and titled in the surface tone LConconi, ....ruit hora...; inscribed in pencil pr XVIII LC. With large margins; minimal foxing in the margins, otherwise in fine condition. To the platemark 350 x 350 mm, the entire sheet measuring 515 x 462 mm. See M. Bianchi, G. Ginex, Luigi Conconi incisore, Milan, 1994; cat. no. 38.
For the genesis of this etching as part of a project by Conconi and the sculptor Paolo Troubetzkoy to create clocks for sale, see Bianchi-Ginex 38. These clocks, never actually realized, were intended to constitute a daily memento mori, inspired by the images of Baroque art.
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.