Thursday, April 25, 2019

Ettore Tito, Painter of Contemporary Life


Ettore Tito's paintings celebrated the daily life of the Italian people, often showing them in rich color and dynamic action.


Born in southern Italy, the son of a sea captain, he worked his way toward the English and French-speaking art markets, where the money was, and where new ideas of art were in the air.

Ettore Tito, Le mondine in Polesine, 1885
In this scene, he carefully manages the light, as a cloud shadow passes over the foreground. The shoes of the waders are lined up on the bank. The wind blows the skirts of the central figure, and she holds her hat from blowing off. Note the lady with the red hat mostly overlapped by the standing figure.


When his work was exhibited at the Pan-Pacific Exhibition in San Francisco, he was awarded the top prize in Italian painting, and there was a popular exhibition of 18 of his paintings in Los Angeles. 


He had versatile skills and produced work in a range of categories, including portraits. 

Ettore Tito, Raggi di Sole (Rays of Sun) 1892

Ettore Tito, Pagine d'amore (Pages of Love)
According to the Studio magazine from 1905, "In Paris he even found himself looked on as chic, and the fashionable painter of the day. He used to come to London almost annually; he worked for the “Graphic” and also for the American magazine “Scribner's.”


He produced a series of risqué illustrations of proverbs with a contemporary flair. This one says "Aide-toi, le ciel t'aidera" (Heaven helps those who help themselves). 

Ettore Tito, Amore e le Parche (Love and the Fates), 1909
In his later career he was inspired by 18th century Venetian painting to paint symbolic and allegorial subjects.

Ettore Tito on Wikipedia (1851—1941)
Art Contrarian Ettore Tito
Another blog post on Ettore Tito
Book on Ettore Tito (old book in Italian)

6 comments:

Susan Krzywicki said...

The first image, because of the clothes on the figures in the foreground, looks like it could have been painted in the 1950s. These seem very fresh and alive and modern.

CerverGirl said...

Wow these are lovely, thank you for sharing.

Aljoša said...

Thank you. I've never heard of him. I love the way he handles the paint, and in some works his use of edges is almost photographic (in a good way). Like Susan said, his artwork looks modern and fresh. I like the 2nd painting the most.

scottT said...

Beautiful tones in that profile with the flower in her mouth, and Love and the Fates. That sky and rocks. Love the strong brushwork.

Rich said...

Never heard of Ettore Tito: What a nice fresh touch - a pleasure to observe.
The scene with the fortune teller is very telling. The painter has caught a surprising moment with an announcement half amusing, half shocking (see the lady at the right).
What do the cards say? One's left musing.

Penny Taylor said...

Wasn't surprised to learn he was friends with Sargent.