Ancona, Vito D'

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ANCONA, VITO D' (1825–1884), Italian painter of the "Macchiaioli" School. He studied engraving with Samuele Jesi and then at the Florence Academy. In 1856 he left Florence for Venice, where he lived for a long period. Back in Florence, he produced his first well-known painting, Le Maschere, clearly inspired by his Venetian stay. His painting L'abbandonata is dated to the year 1860 and the Portico to 1861. By then D'Ancona had adopted analytic composition. However, contrary to most of the Macchiaioli painters, who depicted contemporary subjects, Ancona favored in this period historical subjects. Thus, his best-known painting is the Esilio di Giano della Bella (1864), with a clear historical character. Towards the end of the decade he moved to Paris, where he was at home in the literary and artistic world, which included other Italian painters living there. In this period he painted mainly female nudes and scenes of domestic life. Back in Florence in 1875, he opened a studio at Borgo di Pinti. Already quite ill, he still found the strength to participate in the National Exhibition of painting at Naples in 1877, where he won a gold medal with the painting A porte chiuse: figura di donna nuda. In 1879, owing to his sickness, he had to give up painting completely.


S., Bietoletti, I Macchiaioli, la storia, gli artisti, le opere (2001), 112–21; I. Ciseri, Vito D'Ancona, Soncino (1996).

[Samuel Rocca (2nd ed.)]