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Luigi Chialiva

1842 - 1914

Luigi Chialiva was born in Castano, Switzerland in 1842. He was a pupil of Gottfried Semper at the Polytechnic Institute in Zurich and then studied under Mancini at the School of Art in Milan. In 1868 he won 1st Prize from the Mylins Foundation, where he submitted an animal painting. In 1872 Chialiva went to Paris, where he lived for ten years. He continued to travel in Europe, becoming a friend of Degas in Rome, and visiting England on many occasions.

During the 19th century, the depiction of farm animals achieved widespread popularity. The origins of this genre were in 17th century Dutch and Flemish painting but in the 19th century each country had its favoured masters : Verboeckhoven in Belgium, Thomas Sidney Cooper in England, Bonheur in France, Voltz and Zugel in Germany, the Palizzis in Italy and Chialiva in Switzerland. Their paintings were always part of the rural tradition but they were now purchased by men whose wealth had been created in towns, but who were nostalgic for an image of the country.

Chialiva's works were well received throughout his lifetime and his detailed paintings of sheep were particularly popular in France, Italy and Switzerland.

Exhibited : Paris Salon, Societe Nationale des Beaux Arts, Venice Biennale 1902

Museums : Paris, Rome, Sheffield Back to list