Antonio Donghi (Rome, March 16, 1897 – Rome, July 16, 1963) was an Italian painter of scenes of popular life, landscapes, and still life, one of the main exponents of Magic Realism
He enrolled in the Royal Institute of Fine Arts in Rome and obtained his license in 1916. His first activity dates back to the early 1920s. In 1923 he was already participating in the Second Biennale of Rome, operating in the field of Plastic Values. Significant paintings of that year are the Carnivals and Carnival
In 1924 he exhibited in Milan (Galleria Pesaro) in a collective by Ugo Ojetti: Casorati, Chirico, Guidi, Oppi, Tozzi Donghi are recognizable in the tendency of Magic Realism defined by German critic Franz Roh In 1924 he portrayed Lauro De Bosis Il Musician Alfredo Casella appreciates painting and becomes her collector
In 1925 he exhibited in Mannheim in an exhibition devoted to New Objectivity, the same year we find the Canzonettista. In 1926 he is still traveling to the United States by the Ministry of Education. In the same year he is in Paris where he meets with Filippo de Pisis And Giorgio de Chirico The following year holds a staff in New York Other exhibitions follow in Switzerland and Germany In 1927 the Equestrian Circus
In 1928, he participated in the Venice Biennale In 1929 he participated in the Second Exhibition of the 20th Century. The thirties were also for Donghi years of intense work and success: at the Biennale of 1930, the painting Donna alla finestra was purchased by the Galleria d’Arte Moderna in Palazzo Pitti He then exhibited in Buenos Aires in the 20th Century Italian Exhibition
It also exhibits in the United States, in Pittsburgh: overseas success is remarkable and will continue in time. In 1931 he was in the First Four Year with works purchased from public collections. At the Biennial of Venice in 1932, two of the eight exhibited works were purchased by Public Collections: Ca ‘Pesaro Woman from the Museum of Ca’ Pesaro, the Young Man from the Civic Museum of Genoa It was 1933 The Wet In 1935 Donghi exhibited at the Quadriennale a group of works
In 1936 he received the role of a figure at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and Artistic High School in Rome This year he painted The Juggler His usual themes of saltimbanks, dancers and characters adds to this period the theme of the landscape In 1938 he held a Staff in Rome with paintings of this recent period In 1940 he is at the Gianferrari gallery in Milan
In 1941, the Academy of Italy awarded him a prize for his work as an artist
Around the mid-forties, his pictorial language tends to change in ways and dimensions. He takes part in the Fourth Four Year (1943) and holds a staff at the La Finestra di Roma (1945)
His dodgy character does not facilitate it in the cultural climate of the postwar Italian, although he can rely on the collecting that has followed him in time. He remains alien to the contention between abstractism and figuration, proper to the period, although he complains of his difficulties as a figurative artist. Participation in the important exhibition Twentieth-Century Italian Art in the Museum of Modern Art in New York still constitutes an important acknowledgment of his art In this exhibition he exhibits one of his most important works, The Hunt for the Allodules (1942)
In the 1950s he painted landscapes, but he continues to participate in the Venice Biennial and the Roman Quadriennali. In recent years his art is directed to a near-naive representation of reality. His last painting is, in all likelihood, a Return From Work , Found, without signing, on the stand of his studio at the time of his death
In 1965, he was given a retrospective in the framework of the IX Quadriennale of Rome
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The sposa (the bride) (1926), Civic Gallery, Modena.
Battesimo (baptism), GAM – Civic Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art, Turin.
It ponte di ferro ai Fiorentini (The Iron Bridge to the Florentines) (1933), Palazzo Braschi, Rome.
Ponte Cestio (1925), Palazzo Braschi, Rome.
Via del Lavatore (worker’s street) (1924), Palazzo Braschi, Rome.
Carnevale (carnival) (1923), private collection.
Autoritratto (self-portrait) (1924), private collection, Rome.
Nudo di donna (nude woman) (1923), private collection, Rome.
The canzonettista (the song) (1925), private collection.
Il giocoliere (the juggler) (1926), private collection, Rome.
Circo equestre (circus équestre) (1927), private collection.
Prima della canzone (first song) (1930), private collection.
Caccia alle allodole (hunting for larks)