- 25 Oct 2022 - 22 Jan 2023
Osvaldo Licini’s Rebel Angels and Hidden Paintings
The Brera painting “Rebel Angel with White Moon” by Osvaldo Licini is compared with a painting of similar subject, “Rebel Angel on a Dark Red Background,” on loan from the Contemporary Art Gallery in Ascoli Piceno.
The dialogue, visible in Room 18, takes its cue from the recent restoration of the Brera painting and the discovery of significant ‘structural’ similarities precisely with the Ascoli Piceno painting. During the restoration of the Brera’s Rebel Angel with White Moon in 2020 by Christian Tortato, diagnostic investigations of the painting were also re-examined, which revealed important similarities with the Ascoli Piceno one, both in the original underlying compositions and in the later choices.
Both canvases were made by repainting over an earlier portrait, dating from the 1920s, now no longer visible to the naked eye. Surveys conducted by Andrea Carini of the Brera Art Gallery’s restoration laboratory have revealed below the Brera painting a female portrait that is quite similar to the Portraits of Nella made by Licini in the 1920s and also substantially similar to the other portrait of a maiden found below the Ascoli Piceno Angel, the paintings below appear similar in framing, posture of the figure and physiognomy of face and hair.