Etching (acquaforte monotipata), before 1888; an extremely rare impression of an earlier state (unknown to Bianchi and Ginex) before the cracks in the wall, the two lizards on it and several other details. Richly printed with black ink, working on the surface tone with monotypic effects, on chine appliqué. Signed LConconi in the film of ink left in the plate in wiping. Titled and signed in pencil inside the composition (top left) Vita contemplativa / Capricci fatti in Acquaforte di / LConconi. With large margins, toned, other minor defects. To the platemark 358 x 277 mm. See M. Bianchi, G. Ginex, Luigi Conconi incisore, Milan, 1994; cat. no. 26.
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.