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“Ugolino e i suoi figli” by Silvio Porzionato

In Blueseries, for the first time Silvio Porzionato transposes to canvas his personal interpretations of the masterpieces of classical art masters that have shaped and directed his path as an artist.

“Ugolino e i suoi figli” is the sculptural work that inspired this canvas. Created by French sculptor Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux in the second half of the 1800s, this work is now on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Silvio Porzionato observed this sculpture live four years ago and was so deeply enchanted by it that, years later, he decided to inaugurate his new series by making an homage to this marble as his first subject.

Ugolino e i suoi figli byi Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux at Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

As in the original sculpture, the scene consists of five characters, and the subject of the work is Ugolino della Gherardesca, a 13th-century Pisan leader and politician from a Ghibelline family but who later approached the Guelph party. This figure is particularly famous because he is placed by Dante in the ninth circle of Hell, where traitors to their country are punished. The story goes that he was left to die of starvation inside a tower with his children.

In his transposition on canvas, Silvio Porzionato captures all the intensity of the scene: the bodies of the 5 characters seem to be torn apart, and this fragmentariness gives the painting a magnetic and majestic charge. The figures around Ugolino are almost abstract; he is the only well-defined and distinct character in the scene. Ugolino seems to live in the dimension of a dream, as if all the drama of the moment he is experiencing is actually a hallucination from which he can escape, he seems to be able to see a way out

Ugolino e i suoi figli by Silvio Porzionato at Rossetti arte contemporanea

Porzionato’s is a poetic and, in some ways, almost dreamlike vision of this tragic story. The anatomical hardness of the figures, the light emphasizing the mighty musculature, make this work extraordinarily powerful, with the aura of a classical painting.

You can inquire about the painting “Ugolino and his sons” by sending us an email and, as always, we invite you to the gallery to admire it in person and feel its full intensity.