Lorenzo Bonechi



In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Lorenzo Bonechi born 1955
Drypoint on paper
Image: 292 × 226 mm
Purchased 1984

Catalogue entry

Lorenzo Bonechi born 1955

P77026 Gorgiti 1983

Drypoint 292 x 226 (11 1/2 x 8 7/8) on Carini paper 497 x 350 (19 5/8 x 13 3/4); plate-mark 295 x 228 (11 5/8 x 9); printer's and publisher's stamp ‘CARINI TUSCANY'; printed and published by Carini, Florence in an edition of 30
Inscribed ‘Lorenzo '83' below image b.r. and ‘13/30' below image b.l.
Purchased from Nigel Greenwood Inc. (Grant-in-Aid) 1984
Lit: Elizabeth Underhill, New Prints and Drawings, exh. cat., Tate Gallery, 1984 pp.1-2, (repr.); Franco Rella, Lorenzo Bonechi, exh. cat., Galleria Carini, Florence 1985, p.33

Unless otherwise stated, all quotations in this and the following entries are based on a letter from the artist to the compiler dated 18 May 1988. They have been translated from Italian by the compiler.

This work shows a young man, holding a book on his knee, sitting in front of a towering conical mound. The rounded hills, which frequently appear in Bonechi's work, are based on the landscape around the artist's home in Tuscany, Italy. Bonechi writes:

Gorgiti is the name of an area in the mountains surrounding the Arno valley where I live ... The landscape is an idealisation ... The hills are hills of clay in the Arno valley, eroded away by water which often makes them conical in form ... This attention to landscape has been a concern of mine from my first experiments in painting.

The seated figure does not represent an actual person. His pose recurs in other works by the artist, such as ‘Città' 1983 (private collection, Sweden, repr. Franco Rella 1985, p.32). His head is slightly inclined to the right, which gives him a pensive appearance. Bonechi states, ‘The figure with a book, as in other images, represents wisdom and knowledge, and the book is "the idea" of the book'.

The slightly curving nature of the lines and the slope of the hills create a sense of movement throughout the image. Bonechi writes, ‘The circular "swirling" composition has always been present in my work, every element of the composition partakes in the perfection of the circle'.

In a charcoal drawing entitled ‘Gorgiti' 1983 (private collection, Philadelphia, repr. Franco Rella 1985, p.33) the seated figure faces in the opposite direction and is much larger in relation to his surroundings.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1984-86: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions Including Supplement to Catalogue of Acquisitions 1982-84, Tate Gallery, London 1988, pp.315-16

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