Etching. Mezzetti 346, Foglia 8. Only state. The print is of the greatest rarity. Four impressions besides this one are known; two at the Bertarelli in Milan (Mod. Cart. m. 23-16a, and Mod. Cart. m. 23-16b), one at the Biblioteca Ambrosiana (n. 21609), and another one here on my site. Our impression is fine, richly inked, pulled in sepia ink on chine appliqué on thick white wove paper, with large margins. Slightly toned. To the platemark 145 x 305 mm, the entire sheet measuring 220 x 405 mm.
PROVENANCE: The painter Carlo Bellesia (Milan 1899 - 1973). At age 17, Bellesia, host of the male Orphanage of Milan (Martinitt), was hired as lithographer by Federico Marioni (Claro 1866 - Milan 1938). Marioni, himself an etcher, opened in Milan, in the last decade of the nineteenth century, a chalcographic atelier attended by many prominent artists as Conconi, Feragutti-Visconti, Russolo, Boccioni, Wildt, Grubicy, Agazzi, Ernesto Bazzaro. The activity of Bellesia at the Marioni atelier, allowed him to gather a collection of etchings by those artists.
Lierna is in the province of Lecco in Lombardy, in north-west Italy. It lies on the eastern shore of Lake Como, about 60 kilometres north of Milan and about 15 kilometres north-west of Lecco.
Vittore Grubicy was the son of a Hungarian baron and a Lombard noblewoman. At twenty he began to travel and develop a knowledge of international naturalistic painting. In the early eighties he devoted himself to selling art, together with his brother Alberto. The two Grubicy brothers supported modern painting, encouraging the Scapigliatura artists. Vittore identified several young promising artists to follow - Segantini and Emilio Longoni - and pushed them toward the naturalism of Millet and the Barbizon school. In 1880 Grubicy resumed his travels - to Paris, England, and Low Countries - befriending artists of the Hague School, such as Henrik Willem Mesdag and Anton Mauve, who convinced him to devote himself to painting. He executed canvases and engravings. After 1891 he frequently travelled to paint on the high plains of the Verbano and Lario areas. His particular technique used a particle-like subdivision of tones to render transparent atmospheres, as well as emotions evoked by the harmonic effects of light and colour.