A visit of discovery of the works of Giovanni Fattori and other founders of the Macchiaioli art movement, currently house in the ornate Villa Mimbelli, one of the fabulous suburban residences of a rich 19th century Livornese merchant erected beyond the confines of the Medicean canal city.
The Macchiaiolo was one of the most important movements 19th century art history, founded in 1856 at Caffè Michelangelo in Florence by a group of young artists who, in conflict with contemporary academic tastes, sought to depict real life in their works. Macchiaioli technique, which stressed painting subjects outdoors in natural light, paved the way for successive revolutions in painting both in Italy and abroad. Many of the group’s members spent time in Paris, where they came into contact with some of the greatest figures in French painting who in short time would witness the birth of Impressionism.
Besides the large canvas format paintings of Fattori, which feature heroes of military battles and the cowboys of the Maremma, the museum also features important works by such masters of the movement as Silvestro Lega, Telemaco Signorini, Vincenzo Cabianca, and Serafino De Tivoli, among others. One floor of the villa is dedicated to Postmacchiaioli artists, who were often the pupils of Macciaioli maters, but who distinguished themselves from their advisors by following post-impressionist paths, from symbolism to divisionism (Chromoluminarism). Among their number was a young Livornese man who would attain great fame only after his death: Amedeo Modigliani. An example of his younger period work is also preserved in the Fattori Museum collection.
The villa itself renders the visit yet more fascinating. Constructed by Francesco Mimbelli, a rich merchant of Dalmatian origins, the villa is a jewel of eclectic style, and features a Turisk salon, a splendid hall of mirrors, and multiple frescoed, stuccoed halls rich with elegantly carved cabinets and furniture. Our tour will explore these rooms of a bygone gilded age, narrating the history of the Macchiaioli movement and exploring the lives of the artists and various characters jealously guarded the techniques and secrets of their trade. Each work of art becomes a window unto the past, revealing scenes of life from a world now long disapppeared, but still vibrantly alive in the art of the Masters of the Macchia.
Length: 1 hour 40 minutes, approximately*
Cost: 120 € not including the Museum entrance ticket
Standard: 4 euros
Reduced: 2.50 € (school groups of a minimum of 15 people. Reservation required).
Children under the age of 6 and disable persons: free.
From Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00-13:00, 16:00-19:00.
Closed: Monday, New Year’s Day, Easter, May 1, August holidays, Christmas.
* Indicates the duration of a standard tour, which can be shortened or lengthened according to your wishes and compatibility with the type of excursion.