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Gaetano Prevati’s Divisionism

Gaetano Previati - Children with Fruit Baskets (Fanciulli con cesti di frutta), 1916 - Oil on canvas, 100 x 81 cm - Private collection. Loan to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, VeniceItalian painter and writer Gaetano Previati (1852-1920) was one of the leading exponents of Divisionism (the separation of color into dots or patches applied directly to the canvas).  He was particularly skilled at large-scale decorative schemes, and especially noted for his writings on technique and theory.

Previati studied at the School of Art in Ferrara, in Florence, and in 1877 at the Brera Academy in Milan. In 1878, he turned to Impressionism—starting with historical subjects. But after studying the work of the Pre-Raphaelites, his work became spiritual. During the late 1880s, he adopted Divisionism. During Previati’s lifetime, his work was exhibited throughout Europe. He also wrote several books on theory and technique of painting.

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