Lorenzo Bonechi

The House of the Angel


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Lorenzo Bonechi born 1955
Original title
La casa dell 'angelo
Etching on paper
Image: 606 × 485 mm
Purchased 1986

Catalogue entry

Lorenzo Bonechi born 1955

P77133 The House of the Angel 1984

Etching 606 x 485 (23 7/8 x 19 1/8) on wove paper 759 x 562 (29 7/8 x 22 1/8); plate-mark 613 x 492 (24 1/8 x 19 3/8); printed and published by Carini, Florence in an edition of 50
Inscribed ‘Lorenzo '84' below image b.r. and ‘30/50' below image b.l.
Purchased from Fabian Carlsson Gallery (Grant-in-Aid) 1986
Lit: Franco Rella, Lorenzo Bonechi, exh. cat., Galleria Carini, Florence 1985, p.36; Howard N. Fox, A New Romanticism. Sixteen Artists from Italy, exh. cat., Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC 1985, p.42

P77133 shows two elongated figures in a landscape. One is reclining in front of a conical mound and the other is emerging from a house on a hill. The image consists of richly coloured meshing lines. Pinks, reds and greens flicker between the blue lines of the sky and yellows, browns, pinks and blues mix with the greens of the hills. This results in a certain degree of merging between figures and landscape. Bonechi writes:

The colours are simply the colours of my landscape, the sky is the serene sky, the light is the light of the sun which manifests and reveals itself ... The two figures are related as are all the components of the picture in an attempt to create a perfect harmony between the figures and the landscape, architecture and figures, line and colour.

Bonechi's works are frequently peopled by Biblical figures, such as Jonah, Abraham, the prodigal son, angels and saints. Fox states that they serve ‘the same moral and psychological purposes that they serve in the Testaments ... to reveal, in parable or by personal example, exalted emotions, blessed deeds, or the attainment of wisdom'. Although P77133 is entitled ‘The House of the Angel', it does not refer to a particular angel in a Biblical story but is, according to the artist, ‘like a symbol of great themes of existence, the sanctity, the mystery'.

In a drawing in mixed media on paper entitled ‘La Casa dell'Angelo' 1983 (repr. Franco Rella 1985, p.36) the house is more distant and three trees on a hill occupy the right foreground.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1984-86: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions Including Supplement to Catalogue of Acquisitions 1982-84, Tate Gallery, London 1988, pp.317-18

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