Tivoli, Serafino da

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TIVOLI, SERAFINO DA (1826–1890), Italian painter, founder and leader of the macchiaioli school. He was a leader of the young Italians who, inspired by the political revolutions of 1848, wanted to change the character of Italian painting. They hoped to lead it in a new direction, away from out-worn neoclassic formulas. Da Tivoli went to Florence at the age of 12 and soon decided that painting was his vocation. He adopted the macchiaioli method of painting: that is, he applied his paint in rapid dots or spots (macchie). He painted fresh, spontaneous landscapes, full of movement, but the critics and public were hostile to his technique. Da Tivoli fought in the wars of the Italian Risorgimento. From 1860 until his death he lived in Paris. There his art became increasingly realistic, and landscapes such as "The Seine at St. Denis" and "The Old Fish-House at Bougival" were painted under the influence of Corot.


A. Franchi, Arte e artisti toscani dal 1850 ad oggi (1902), 92–95; idem, I macchiaioli toscani (1945); A.M. Comanducci, I pittori italiani dell'Ottocento (1934), 199; M. Girardelli, I macchiaioli e l'epoca loro (1958).