Federico Zandomeneghi (June 2, 1841 –
December 31, 1917) was an Italian Impressionist painter.
Federico Zandomeneghi was born in Venice. His father Pietro and
grandfather Luigi were neoclassic sculptors. The latter completed
the monument to Titian found in the Frari of Venice. As a young man,
he preferred painting to sculpture, enrolling in 1856 first in the
Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice, and then in the Academy of Fine
Arts of Milan. In 1860, he tried to join with the forces of Giuseppe
Garibaldi (1807-1882) in his Expedition of the Thousand. This made
it uncomfortable for him to reside in Venice, and in 1862, he moved
to Florence for 5 years where he frequented the Caffè Michelangiolo.
There he met a number of the artists known as the Macchiaioli,
including Telemaco Signorini, Giovanni Fattori and Giuseppe Abbati,
and he joined them in painting landscapes outdoors. Painting outside
of the studio, "en plein air", was at that time an innovative
approach, allowing for a new vividness and spontaneity in the
rendering of light. In 1871 Pompeo Molmenti wrote glowing
assessements of three young Venetian painters: Guglielmo Ciardi,
Alessandro Zezzos, and Zandomeneghi.
In 1874, he went to Paris, where he
was to spend the rest of his life. He quickly made the acquaintance
of the Impressionists, who had just had their first group
exhibition. Zandomeneghi, whose style of painting was similar to
theirs, would participate in four of their later exhibitions, in
1879, 1880, 1881, and 1886. Like his close friend Edgar Degas he was
primarily a figure painter, although Zandomeneghi's work was more
sentimental in character than Degas'. He also admired the work of
Mary Cassatt and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and his many paintings of
women in their domestic routines follow their example. To supplement
the meager returns from the sale of his paintings, Zandomeneghi
found work drawing illustrations for fashion magazines.
He took up working in pastels in
the early 1890s, and became especially adept in this medium. At
about this same time his reputation and his fortunes were enhanced
when the art dealer Durand-Ruel showed Zandomeneghi's work in the
United States. From then on he enjoyed continuing modest success
until his death in Paris in 1917.
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