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Carpi, Aldolocked

Italian, 20th century, male.

Born 6 October 1886, in Milan; died 27 March 1973, in Milan.

Painter, draughtsman, pastellist, sculptor. Religious subjects, figures, portraits, genre scenes, scenes with figures, animals. Designs for stained glass.

Aldo Carpi was a pupil of Stefano Bersani. He entered the Accademia di Brera in 1906, where he studied with Cesare Tallone, and befriended Achille Funi and Carlo Carrà. From 1915 to 1918, he fought on the Serbian front. He began teaching at the Accademia di Brera, Milan, in 1930, and later became its director. In 1944, he was deported to the Mauthausen concentration camp, then to the camp at Gusen. There, he made numerous drawings of what he saw, and took these back to Italy with him.

Before World War I, Carpi a series of Masks which made him famous. He later returned to this theme. At this time, he was attempting a synthesis of the Secessionist style. In the 1920s, his more introverted compositions demonstrate a return to the Lombard tradition of the 19th century. His vocabulary became simpler, and works like Annunciation, Death of Pierrette and Christ among the Workers are tinged with sentimentality, and even sometimes with mysticism, which demonstrates that he was part of the naive and often sentimental Lombard movement. He made stained-glass windows, notably in Milan for the Basilica di San Simpliciano (1927) and the Duomo (1934). He also wrote the Gusen Diary ( Diario di Gusen), which was published in 1971, 1993 and 2002 by Einaudi, Turin.

Carpi showed in the following group exhibitions: the national exhibitions held at the Accademia di Brera and the Museo della Permanente, Milan from 1910 onward (winning a gold medal at the Brera in 1912 and the Principe Umberto Prize in 1925); the Venice Biennale from 1912 to 1952 (except from 1940 to 1950); the Brera Biennale in 1932 (where he was awarded a medal); the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1937 (gold medal); and posthumously at Discovering the Sea: Lombard Painters in Liguria between 1800 and 1900 ( Scoperta del Mare. Pittori Lombardi in Liguria tra '800 e '900) at the Palazzo Ducale, Genoa, in 1999; The World of the Carpis. An Artistic Family throughout the 20th Century: Aldo, Cioni, Fiorenzo and Pinin ( Il Mondo dei Carpi. Una Famiglia di Artisti lungo il '900: Aldo, Cioni, Fiorenzo, Pinin) at the Galleria d'Arte Contemporanea Cascina Roma, San Donato Milanese, in 2001; and De Chirico and Italian Painting of the Interwar Period ( De Chirico et la Peinture Italienne de l'Entre-Deux Guerres) at the Musée de Lodève in 2003.

His solo exhibitions include: in 1920 and 1933, at the Galleria Pesaro, Milan; in 1941, a retrospective at the Museo della Permanente, Milan; in 1972, a retrospective at the Rotonda di Via Besana, Milan; in 1970 at the Galleria Valiani, Pistoia; and posthumously in 1989, at the Civica Galleria d'Arte, Bellinzona; in 2001, at the Museo Civico Floriano Bodini in Gemonio, the Sala Veratti des Musei Civici in Varese and the Bottega del Pittore in Arcumeggia, Comune di Casalzuigno; and finally in 2003, with Gabriele D'Annunzio at the Museo del Risorgimento and the Istituto Luce, Rome.

Museum and Gallery Holdings

Florence (Gal. d'Arte Moderna): After the Meal

Florence (Palazzo Pitti): Dopo Cena (1914)

Milan (Santa Maria del Suffragio): La Via Crucis (1932-1933, fourteen stations of the Cross)

Piacenza (Gal. d'Arte Moderna Ricci Oddi): Marina (1929, oil on panel)

Rome (Mus. del Risorgimento): drawings

Varèse (Museo Baroffio): Madonna con Bambino (1968, bronze)

Williamstown (Clark Art Institute): The Cart (1952, drawing); The Sow (La Scroffa) (1943, drawing)

Auction Records

Milan, 6 April 1976: Mannequin Revolution (oil on canvas, 43¼ × 23½ ins/110 × 60 cm) ITL 750,000

Milan, 13 Dec 1977: Beach Scene (1955, tempera/canvas, 23½ × 31½ ins/60 × 80 cm) ITL 700,000

Milan, 9 Nov 1982: Seashore (oil on mounted card, 17¾ × 22 ins/45 × 55 cm) ITL 2,200,000

Milan, 19 April 1983: Ablutions (1969, charcoal and tempera, 25½ × 18¾ ins/65 × 47.5 cm) ITL 1,100,000

Milan, 8 Nov 1984: Beach Scene, Viareggio (1931, oil on mounted card, 18 × 21¾ ins/45.5 × 55.5 cm) ITL 2,200,000

Milan, 11 June 1985: Figure in a Landscape (1955, oil on canvas, 23½ × 15¾ ins/60 × 40 cm) ITL 850,000

Rome, 29 April 1987: Thinking Together (Pensando Insieme) (1966, mixed media/canvas, 34¼ × 45 ins/87 × 114 cm) ITL 3,000,000

Milan, 14 Dec 1988: Pierrot (1924, oil on panel, 30¾ × 22½ ins/78 × 57 cm) ITL 3,400,000

Milan, 27 Sept 1990: Farmer in the Grass (1956, pastel/card, 24¾ × 19 ins/63 × 48 cm) ITL 800,000

Milan, 19 Dec 1991: Adolescents in a Meadow (oil on canvas, 35½ × 45 ins/90 × 114 cm) ITL 8,500,000

Milan, 21 June 1994: Female Nude (1938, mixed media/card, 30 × 22½ ins/76.5 × 57 cm) ITL 6,900,000

Milan, 9 March 1995: Horsemen (1959, oil on canvas, 17¾ × 27½ ins/45 × 70 cm) ITL 4,140,000

Milan, 9 Nov 1999: Seascape (oil on canvas, 22 × 28 ins/55 × 70 cm) ITL 4,500,000

Milan, 28 Oct 2003: Flight to Egypt (1946, oil on card/canvas, 10 × 13 ins/25 × 34 cm) EUR 2,600

Turin, 17 Nov 2003: Portrait of Cioni (1931, oil on canvas, 28 × 22 ins/70 × 55 cm) EUR 8,000

Milan, 19 May 2004: Mother Padana (1963, oil on canvas, 29 × 21 ins/73 × 54 cm) EUR 1,500


  • Carpi, Aldo/Bistolfi, Leonardo (préf.): Serbia eroica, Alfieri & Lacroix, Milan, 1917.
  • De Micheli, M/Valiani, A.: Aldo Carpi, exhibition catalogue, Galleria Valiani, Pistoia, 1970.
  • Bossaglia, Rossana: Aldo Carpi, exhibition catalogue, Civico Museo d'Arte contemporanea, Palazzo Reale, Milano, Ed. Bolis, Bergamo, 1990.
  • De Carli, Cecilia: Lo spirituale nell'opera di Aldo Carpi, La Nuova Cartografica, Brescia, 1990.
  • Carpi, Aldo/Micheli, Mario de (intro.): Diario di Gusen: lettere e Maria, Garzanti, Milan, 1991.
  • Ginex, Giovanna/Rebora, Sergio: Scoperta del Mare. Pittori lombardi in Liguria tra '800 e '900, group exhibition catalogue, Palazzo Ducale, Genova, Mazzetta, Milan, 1999.
  • Madesani, Angela: Il mondo dei Carpi. Una famiglia di artisti lungo il '900: Aldo, Cioni, Fiorenzo, Pinin, group exhibition catalogue, Galleria d'Arte Contemporanea Cascina Roma, San Donato Milanese, Mazzotta, Milan, 2001.
  • De Grada, Raffaele/Rizzi, Claudio: Omaggio ad Aldo Carpi, exhibition catalogue, Museo Civico Floriano Bodini Gemonio, Nicolini, Varese, 2001.
  • Bonito Oliva, Achille/Iovane, Giovanni/Lista, Giovanni, et al.: De Chirico et la peinture italienne de l'entre-deux guerres, exhibition catalogue, musée de Lodève, 2003.