Giovanni Segantini

Austria / Italy / Switzerland / 1858 - 1899 / / wikipedia / /
Giovanni Segantini (15 Jan. 1858 – 28 Sept.r 1899); Italian painter known for his large pastoral landscapes of the Alps. One of the most famous artists in Europe in the late 19th century, his paintings were collected by major museums.

His work is just as difficult to categorize as his citizenship. We can see affinities in his work with artists as diverse as Millais, Seurat, Millet, Van Gogh, Gauguin, and even Klimt. Yet his work is none of these, and even art experts do not seem to agree on what to call his style of painting. Sometimes he is called a Divisionist painter, other times a Pointillist, and still others consider him a Symbolist. His later paintings often feature a truly peculiar iconography that set them apart. On this latter point in particular it would not be too much of a stretch to say that, in his later paintings, Segantini in his subject matter in some respect prefigured the work of Frida Kahlo.

...His perpetually frail physical health, the death of his mother when he was a small child, and the subsequent problems he experienced with being shifted from household to household by his father and other relatives in what today we would probably consider some sort of child neglect, was a very recognizable formula for the creation of a clinical condition, perhaps an anxiety disorder or manic depression.

Not being a psychiatrist or psychologist, it is a bit unfair of me to try to diagnose Segantini of course, but even a basic understanding of psychology and family history will help us to understand some of his paintings which, without that context, would probably remain completely inscrutable

...Yet weirdness aside, Segantini was capable of truly beautiful images. His best pictures of peasants with their livestock, and the landscapes in which they lived and worked, are feasts of light and color for the eye....
change photo
remove photo

First Collected by



Contributors 5

Related Artists

+ add artist