Domenico Rambelli,
Portrait of the Painter Antonio Berti [or] My teacher

Domenico Rambelli,
Portrait of the Painter Antonio Berti [or] My teacher

Domenico Rambelli, Portrait of the Painter Antonio Berti [or] My teacher
Plaster and bronze, 1907, 73x47x38 cm, Inv. n. 1427
This work was presented at the Biennale di Venezia in 1907. Antonio Berti was the teacher of the School of Drawing and precisely in those years decided to retire, concluding his extensive career as a teacher culminating in the training of the group of artists dubbed Baccarini’s cenacle.

This portrait, created also to express his gratitude to his own teacher, in no way veiling the almost paternal sense of authority, introduces a noticeable stylistic innovation in the Rambelli’s youthful production. This work is not so different from models by Rodin and Bourdelle that inspired it, although still faithful to the preference for a classically composed naturalist art.

In any case, an attempt to assert his independence is being made and, although remaining in naturalism, a compressed perspective and hand moulding that is particularly visible in the roughing out of the moustache and other facial features. This work also manifests an underlying aspiration to compose synthetic blocks and thereby reduce the descriptive values. Moreover, the bust is larger than life, something that seemed useless to critics at the time, but that perhaps we can interpret as a presage of the sculptor’s monumental ambition.

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