Antonio Donghi

Rome 1897 — 1963

Known for its original bond with Magic Realism, Antonio Donghi’s art provides a balanced chromatic and compositional blend between figures in the foreground and their surroundings.

Following a brief apprenticeship and the vicissitudes of the First World War, Donghi emerged as a promising artists in the early 1920s. The atmosphere in the world of art at the time was one of a general return to order with emphasis on sculptural values and the themes of traditional painting. Directly linked to Neue Sachlichkeit, Germany’s New Objectivity movement, Donghi’s style shared the same pictorial guidelines and orientations and was greeted with notable success throughout the 1920s. He exhibited continuously in those years at Galleria Pesaro together with Casorati, De Chirico and Guidi, and at the 2nd Exhibition of Italian Novecento Art attracted the attention of the critic Roberto Longhi, His painting is characterized by an immobility outlined by an enchanted and melancholic gaze, as may be seen in works like La Cocottina and La partenza degli Amanti owned by the Foundation. His gaze is sometimes mitigated by softer, more pastel colours, as in Le Villeggianti, also part of the Carraro Foundation's collection.

In later years, Donghi exhibited at the Venice Biennale (1928 and 1932) and at the Rome Quadriennale (1931, 1935, and 1943). Even in the transformed cultural-political context after the Second World War, his art was accepted for the Venice Biennale (1952 and 1954), and with more attenuated poetic tones, also at the Quadriennale (in 1951, 1955, and 1959).