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Federico Zandomeneghi | A Venetian between Impressionists

Federico Zandomeneghi (1841-1917) was an Italian painter, known for working in the Impressionist style. His father Pietro and grandfather Luigi tried to interest him in the plastic arts, but from a very early age he showed a stronger inclination for painting. Zandomeneghi soon rebelled against their teachings, and by 1856 he was attending the Accademia delle Belle Arti in Venice, studying under the painters Michelangelo Grigoletti (1801-1870) and Pompeo Molmenti (1819-1894).
As a Venetian he was born an Austrian subject, and, to escape conscription, he fled his city in 1859 and went to Pavia, where he enrolled at the university.
In the following year he followed Garibaldi in the Expedition of the Thousand; afterwards, having been convicted of desertion and therefore unable to return to Venice, he went to Florence, where he remained from 1862-1866. This period was essential for his artistic development.

In Tuscany he frequented the Florentine painters known as the Macchiaioli, with some of whom he took part in the Third Italian War of Independence 1866. Zandomeneghi formed a strong friendship with Telemaco Signorini and Diego Martelli, with whom he corresponded frequently for the rest of his life.
In this period he painted the Palazzo Pretorio of Florence (1865, Venice, Ca’ Pesaro), in which the building, represented in the historical-romantic tradition, is redeemed by a remarkable sense of air and light, elements derived from the Macchiaioli.