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Bernardo Biancale

( 1869 - 1959 )

Brosser les cheveux


Bernardo Biancale

( 1869 - 1959 )

Brosser les cheveux

  • Medium: Oil on panel

  • Signed: Signed lower left / stamped verso

  • Size: 20.00" x 12.00" (50.8cm x 30.5cm)

  • Dated: c. 1930

Additional information

  • Condition: Very good

  • Provenance: The collection of the artists family

  • Literature: The work is titled verso and dated 1912.
    There is an unidentified wax collectors seal on the reverse.

Bernardo Biancale Biography

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Bernardo Biancale was born in Sora in Italy on September 24, 1869 - the son of the self taught painter Pietro Biancale. He was the first-born of ten brothers: Vincenzo, Annunziata, Domenico, Filomena, Attilio, Erminio, Restituta, Rocco, and a still born. He had a controversial youth because, according to some, he walked around "young unkempt, without a penny in his pocket". At the age of 19 he enrolled at the Institute of Fine Arts in Naples where he was taught by Gioacchino Toma, Stanislao Lista and Licata who helped offer the young student an artistically stimulating but statically academic environment. In his spare time he attended the workshop of the carpenter Luigi Fosca, brother of the much more famous sculptor Pasquale.

He soon returned to Sora after a brief period in Rome. In his hometown he came into contact with the group of Danes (Zartmann, Kroyer, Peterssen, Mayer-Ross, and others) who had settled in the city.

He set up his first personal exhibition in Sora in 1898 in his home and in the same year he was admitted to the R. Triennale Exhibition of the Academy of Fine Arts in Milan.

In 1902 he decided to move to Paris, the artistic capital of Europe. He took up residence in the artists' quarter of Montmartre and was soon joined by his brothers Attilio and Erminio. He married Marta, the daughter of a jeweler from La Rochelle, for whom he had executed some portraits in the past.

The brothers all returned to Italy at the outbreak of the First World War, in time to see their mother who died suddenly the next day. In Sora he was commissioned for the decoration of the church of San Rocco and of the church of S. Andrea Apostolo di Campoli Appennino. The brothers along with with Marta returned to France in 1919 where Bernardo began to paint on canvas and to exhibit in public. In the same year he met Antonio Valente, the brilliant scenographer and fellow countryman, the actor E. Coqueline

He also occasionally worked with Picasso, of which he did not share the same pictorial style and for which he was the object of ridicule from Picasso as being still observant of a classical painting of the Neapolitan school far from the modernist developments of which Paris was permeated.

From 17 to 28 May 1926 he presented in Paris an Exposition d’ouvres anciennes et recentes at Galerie Bernheim Jeune. In the same year he was widowed and moved in with his brother Erminio in Paris for about two years. In this time he met the young opera singer Virginia Ventre, whom he fell in love with, marrying her at the age of 60. This aroused the perplexities of his brother Erminio who was worried about the fate of Bernardo due to the poor health of his thirty-year-old bride.

From 9 to 24 July 1943 he participated in the exhibition organized in the Rue de la Paix by the Paris section of the Fascist Fine Arts Union in a Paris still - not for long - occupied by the Nazis. Massimo Campigli, Giorgio De Chirico, Filippo de Pisis, M. Fumo, Gino Severini and Mario Tozzi exhibited with him in the painting section. From September 15 to 30 of the same year he exhibited at the Suzanne Froissard gallery on Rue La Boltie. His last known  exhibition was at Galerie Charpentier on Rue du Faubourg Saint Honore in 1958.

He died accidentally, as reported by the newspaper Le Figaro, at the age of 91 on February 28, 1959. All his assets and many of the paintings were sold at auction to pay off the debts incurred due to the expensive care costs of his opera singer wife Virginia.

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