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Alberto Pasini | Orientalist / Romantic painter


Alberto Pasini (Busseto, 1828-Cavoretto, 1899) was born in Busseto on 3 September 1826 to Giuseppe and Adelaida Crotti Balestra, the last of five children.
When his father died in 1828, his mother moved with her children to Parma, where she could count on the help of Alberto's uncle, the painter and miniaturist Antonio Pasini, a habitué of the Court circles and a collaborator of the famous typographer Bodoni.
Very soon the young Pasini expressed his own vocation by enrolling at the age of seventeen in the Accademia di Belle Arti in Parma, in the section of landscape painting, and in the drawing section in 1848.



Between 1850-1851 he was commissioned to produce the series of lithographs Thirty Views of Castles around Piacenza, Lunigiana and Parma.
His draughtsmanship was noticed by the artist Paolo Toschi, a highly respected cultural figure, who encouraged the young Pasini to find a new life in Paris, as Parma in the years after the death of the Duchess Maria Luigia (1851) offered very few work opportunities. Thus, he joined the workshop of Charles and Eugène Ciceri.
The new world which opened up to him offered many opportunities as he adhered to the so-called school of Barbizon🎨.



In 1853 he was admitted to the Paris Salon thanks to the lithograph The Evening, which enabled him to join the workshop of the famous Chassériau who, shortly afterwards, in February 1855, recommended his name to replace his own as the artist that was to accompany the mission of the plenipotentiary minister P. Bourée to Persia.
The ten months spent in Teheran and the return journey through the north of Persia and Armenia before reaching the port of Trabzon marked for ever his career as an orientalist painter.
Back in Paris, his artistic qualities were soon acknowledged and he was appreciated for being a talented colorist and even more talented painter of light, an impeccable draughtsman and a rigorous landscape composer, a lively narrator and a strict illustrator of reality-a reality in which there are hardly any traces of romanticism left and in which the decadence and the symbolist borrowings of the end-of-the-century exoticism are entirely absent.



In 1859 Pasini set off on his second trip to the Mediterranean Middle East, stopping at Cairo, crossing the Arabian desert of Sinai, along the Lebanese coasts, and ending in Athens.
In 1860 he married Marianna Celli, who remained his lifelong companion and who gave birth to a daughter, Claire, in 1862.
In the summer of 1865 he spent some time in Cannes, where he painted bright landscapes of the Riviera.
He left again for Constantinople in October 1867, summoned by the French Ambassador Bourée, his close friend and patron, and remained there for nine months.
He returned to Turkey the following year to execute the four paintings commissioned by Sultan Abdul Aziz. Due to the war of 1870 he returned to Italy, and established himself permanently, not in his native Parma, but in Cavoretto, on the hills around Turin.
He was on his way to Turkey again in 1876, when his journey was interrupted in Vienna due to the death of Sultan Abdul Aziz, who had summoned him.



His tranquil and productive life in his ample workshop in Cavoretto was punctuated by trips to Venice and two sojourns in Spain in 1879 and 1883.
The self-portrait he sent to the Uffizi in Florence🎨 is from 1888. After that, he embarked upon his series of Piedmontese paintings of Cavoretto and Issogne.
In 1895 he took part in the Sponsorship Committee of the Venice Biennale and in 1898 he was a member of the jury of the Esposizione Nazionale in Turin.
His serene and fruitful existence (he painted about one thousand works) ended on 15 December 1899.
Pasini was a fortunate artist both in life and after his death, as collectors have always been interested in his works. These are included in the most important public and private collections all over the world. | © Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum








Alberto Pasini (Busseto, 3 settembre 1826 - Cavoretto, 15 dicembre 1899) è stato un pittore Italiano🎨.
All'età di due anni perse il padre Giuseppe, e la madre Adelaide Crotti Balestra lo portò a Parma, nella casa dello zio Antonio Pasini, pittore e collaboratore di Giovanni Bodoni.
A 17 anni si iscrisse all'Accademia di Belle Arti di Parma, scegliendo la sezione paesaggio. Fu poi indirizzato alla litografia dal direttore dell'accademia, l'incisore Paolo Toschi.
Tra i suoi primi lavori una serie di trenta litografie sui castelli del ducato di Parma e Piacenza (1850-51).
Prese parte alla prima guerra d'indipendenza come milite della colonna di Modena.
Dopo aver soggiornato per breve tempo a Torino, nel 1851 andò a Ginevra e poi a Parigi, dove fu indirizzato dal Toschi allo studio di Henriquel Dupont, che lo presentò al celebre acquarellista ed incisore Eugène Cicéri.
Nel 1854 passò nello studio di Théodore Chassériau🎨, che valorizzò in lui la propensione per la pittura ad olio e lo iniziò all'orientalismo.
Nel marzo 1855, per intervento di Chassériau, ottenne di essere aggregato come disegnatore a una missione diplomatica del governo francese in Persia, Turchia, Siria, Arabia ed Egitto.


Durante quel viaggio realizzò una sessantina di studi e molti disegni, che furono la base delle opere del genere verista di stampo esotico che fecero la sua fortuna prima in Francia e poi in Italia.

Ottenne molte onorificenze🎨.
  • A Parigi fu decorato della Medaglia d'Onore per la pittura, lo Scià di Persia gli conferì il titolo di "Ufficiale del Leone e del Sole", Napoleone III lo decorò della Legion d'Onore (1878), il re d'Italia dell'Ordine dei Santi Maurizio e Lazzaro.

Le sue opere sono conservate nei musei e gallerie d'arte di tutto il mondo, tra cui le Gallerie d'Arte Moderna di Torino, Milano, Firenze e Roma; la Galleria Nazionale, il Museo Fondazione Cariparma e la Pinacoteca Stuard di Parma; la Pennsylvania Academy of Arts di Filadelfia, la casa d'aste Christie's di Londra, e L'art institute di Chicago.
A Parma gli è dedicato "viale Alberto Pasini", una strada dell'Oltretorrente che collega Barriera Santa Croce con viale Piacenza.
È sepolto nel Cimitero monumentale di Torino. | © Wikipedia



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