Face to Face with Art

Casimiro Pentozzi (Spoleto 1784 – unknown date not before 1842)

Casimiro Pentozzi, painter and amateur archaeologist from Spoleto, is remembered in particular for having promoted, around the 1840s, the excavation work on the Ponte Sanguinario; at his own expense, he brought back to light an archway to make a critical survey, and built structures to access it after the discovery made some time earlier together with Pietro Fontana.

Like his father Giuseppe, Pentozzi was part of a group of decorators active in and around Spoleto between the late 18th-early 19th century; in their workshop the young Giovanni Catena took his first steps. His skills as testified to by the organ of the Icone Chapel in the Cathedral, carved and gilded in the years 1824-1827 together with Emidio Speca.

Beggar| Paper/ tempera painting (cm 65×95) | First half of XIX century

He was also an excellent copyist, as attested by the painting taken from an original from Spain in the church of Sant’Andrea in Bazzano Inferiore.

In 1947, the caretaker of the Picture Gallery handed over the painting presented here, together with Landscape with two shepherds, to the then secretary Gerolamo Corrà, to furnish his office.

It shows in the foreground the figure of an old beggar with a wooden leg, leaning on two sticks; in the background is a hilly landscape with scattered hills and trees. The painting, provided with a moulded and gilded wooden frame, is a work of discreet quality in which the taste for popular anecdotes and a lively realism prevail, as shown by the attention with which the artist describes the protagonist in the clothes and gestures of everyday life, read and interpreted without literary filters but with marked naturalism.

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