Monday, February 10, 2020

Ubaldo Oppi, Painter and Alpini Lieutenant Colonel

According to his Wikipedia entry, Ubaldo Oppi (1889-1942) studied under Gustav Klimt.  Besides that, it seems that while in Paris he had a brief affair with Picasso's ex-girlfriend Fernande Olivier.

Despite those brushes with Modernism, following Great War service in Italy's elite Alpini forces, Oppi briefly associated with the Novocento (Twentieth Century) movement, a more traditional-yet-Modernist-inspired group.

By the 1930s he focused on religious works.  In World War 2 he rejoined the Alpini with the rank of lieutenant colonel, but his health failed perhaps from cancer and he died about age 53.


Figure in Red - c.1912
An example of Oppi's prewar work.  The face strikes me as being a dialed-down version of what Kees van Dongen was doing at the time.

Donna alla finestra - 1921
This "Lady at the Window" looks like his wife.

Ritratto della moglie sullo sfondo di Venezia - 1921
His wife posed against a Venetian background.

La giovane sposa - 1922
The young bride / wife.  Note the tile flooring and one-point perspective in the background that harkens back to classical Italian paintings.

Shepherd Girl - 1926

The Three Surgeons - 1926

Ritratto della signora Alma Giavi Leone - 1926
Like most artists, Oppi painted some portraits to earn income.

Ritratto della moglie - 1928
Another portrait of his wife.  He also painted nearly identical half-view of her the same year.

1 comment:

emjayay said...

Interesting clearly modernist paintings with Italian renaissance references. He apparently started Fascist related but removed himself from those guys, got religious, and died as a colonel in WWII. Usually artists don't go that way. More unusual and weird is the involvement of other Italian artists with Mussolini Fascism like the Futurists. Again, artists are generally not of that stripe, although Mussolini wasn't quite the anti-modern art guy that Hitler was. There was a show at the Guggenheim a few years about the Italian Futurist movement. I didn't know anything about before that.

I couldn't find anything about where any Oppi paintings can be seen.