I had never heard of the Macchiaioli School of painting before today, the name (in Italian) denoting their intention to using patches of colour to build their images. It was their desire to be the Italian version of Impressionism; to step away from the classical subjects and style of painting as were the case during the glory days of the Italian Renaissance, and breathe some fresh air into what they considered moribund and passe.
They were also keen to paint the life of the countryside as it was, harsh and demanding, and in no way idealized and mythologized.
I have looked at the images in this slide show hoping to see this contrast between the ‘old’ Italian school and the new, yet I think the similarities between the two are more pronounced than any differences that might hold true.
In French Impressionism, I always feel that the painter has captured a telling, yet also fleeting moment, whereas these images speak to me of eternity.
A people and a way of life that has been frozen is aspic. The sun is stronger than the sun in France; the landscape arid and hushed.
Macchiaioli School of Painting
Watch more about the Macchiaioli School :