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Mario Tozzi

Autograph Sentiment - 1933

Beautifully and artistically signed autograph sentiment, dated November 21, 1933, on album page.

MARIO TOZZI (1895-1979) was an eminent Italian artist, painting in a style originally close to Impressionism that evolved in a more classical direction, defined as "natural metaphysics", eventually tending towards abstraction.

Tozzi spent his childhood and adolescence in Suna on Lake Maggiore, where his father was the district municipal doctor. He began to study chemistry at the Cobianchi Institute in Intra, but broke off his studies there to enroll in the Bologna Academy of Fine Arts.  He finished his course there in 1915, winning a prize awarded by the Ministry of Education.

After fighting as a volunteer in the First World War, he met his future wife, Marie-Thérèse, on Lake Maggiore; she was from Paris, where they settled and he started his career as an artist. In Paris in 1920 he exhibited work at the Salon des Indipendants, attracting favorable reviews.  From then on he also took part regularly and with increasing success in the Salon d'Automne and the Salon des Tuileries.

From 1920 he began to spend summer vacations in his wife's house in Lignorelles in Bourgogne. In Italy he held his first personal exhibition in 1923 in Pallanza, and was later to be invited to the Venice Bienniali, to the exhibitions of the Novecento italiano and the Quadriennali in Rome. In 1926 he founded in Paris the "Group de sept" (Group of Seven), gathering around him the major Italian artists living in the city: Campigli, De Pisis, De Chirico, Savinio, Paresce and Severini.

From 1927 Mario Tozzi enjoyed great success at a variety of international art exhibitions. In the years 1936-38 he also worked on frescoes, decorating the central hall of the general headquarters of the Militia in Rome.

In 1936 his health began to decline, so that he exhibited less and less and was often obliged to stop painting altogether.  Until 1944 he divided his time between Paris, Suna on Lake Maggiore in the summer, and Rome. In 1938 he worked on decorating the Court of Justice in Milan.

When his health improved he began to paint again, and in 1958 held a personal exhibition at the Galleria Annunciata in Milan, which marked what amounted to his "resurrection", and saw him once again take his place as a member of the circle of masters of the Novecento italiano.

In 1971 he moved to Paris, where his daughter lived, for good, following intimidation he had been subjected to in Suna by a vaguely defined "Association for the defence of the painter".

He died in 1979 in Saint-Jean-du-Gard in Bourgogne. In 1996, after the major exhibition held in Pallanza to mark the centenary of Mario Tozzi's birth, his brother Arnaldo donated 19 of his paintings to the Museo del Paesaggio.

Mario Tozzi - The Morning Toilet - 1922 painting

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