A) The original drawing for the cover of the book; pen and black ink, watercolours, white lead. To the image 225 x 270 mm. The full sheet measuring 380 x 270 mm.
B) The original drawing for one of the 25 illustrations of the book; pen and black ink, signed bottom right Lorenzo Viani; 350 x 250 mm. Mounted on a frame, defects.
Lorenzo Viani, born in Viareggio, trained in Florence and Lucca under the supervision of Giovanni Fattori and Plinio Nomellini; he therefore developed a very personal style that earned him a well-deserved place in the European Expressionist current. Viani’s work told the stories of fishermen and marble quarriers, and he cultivated anarchical-socialist ideologies by their side until the war, coining the incisive, passionate, experimental language quoted above, and similarly, a dramatic and expressive type of painting, in terms of both theme and style.
Using bold colours, applied with quick, short brush strokes, through the faces and poses of his characters, he told the story of the people of Versilia in the last years of the early 20th century: not just the workers, but also the mentally ill, the outcasts, the sea widows, with whom Viani had always empathized. The Great War deeply changed him, to such an extent that he withdrew into himself and sought certainties in the Fascist movement that was emerging at that time.