Black chalk. Signed lower left. 540 x 360 mm.
Our drawing is a study of a detail in the famous triptych The Legend of Orpheus, begun in 1904 and finished in 1905 in Vienna. The work, now in the Mart Museum in Rovereto, is considered one of Bonazza's masterpieces, and was exhibited at the time in 1906 at the International Exhibition in Milan, in 1907 in Vienna at the XXIX Exhibition of the Secession and in 1908 in Berlin, arousing widespread acclaim from critics and the public everywhere. This drawing is published in G. Perilli, M. Perilli, Luigi Bonazza, Trento, 1992, p. 36, no. 16.
A pupil of Luigi Comel at the Scuola Reale Elisabettiana in Rovereto, Luigi Bonazza moved to Vienna in 1897, where he enrolled at the Kunstgewerbeschhule. There he studied painting with Felician von Myrbach and Franz von Matsch, absorbing the culture of the two Secessions. In Vienna Bonazza began to practice engraving, experiencing the technique of mezzotint on steel. His most successful set of prints was Jovis Amores (1906/1910), a series of ten prints devoted to the lovers and the metamorphoses of Juppiter. Bonazza returned to Trento in 1912, where he was a cofounder of the Circolo Artistico Trentino. To avoid serving in the Austro-Hungarian Army, he fled to Italy, living in Vizzola Ticino, near Milan. During this period he created watercolors and prints inspired by aviation, for Gianni Caproni, the producer of airplanes. In 1918 Bonazza returned to Trento, where, between 1932 and 1933, he decorated the Palazzo delle Poste.