Mario Tozzi



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Mario Tozzi Painter

Mario Tozzi pittore

Mario Tozzi, born on 30 October 1895 in Fossombrone, a hamlet of Isola di Fano, in the province of Pesaro-Urbino, was a famous Italian painter. The eldest son in a family of five brothers, his father Giacinto Tommaso, a doctor, moved the family to Suna, on the Piedmontese shore of Lake Maggiore. After starting his chemistry studies at the Cobianchi Institute in Intra, Mario abandoned this path to follow his artistic vocation, enrolling in 1913 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna. Here he met artists of the caliber of Morandi and Licini and graduated in 1915.
During the First World War, Mario Tozzi served as a volunteer and lost two brothers in the conflict. After being discharged in 1919, he married Marie Therèse Lemaire, a young Frenchwoman, and settled in Paris. In this city, he began his artistic career, exhibiting at the Salon des Artistes Indépendantes, at the Salon d'Automne and at the Salon des Tuileries, where he was favorably noticed by critics. 1926 is a significant year for the artist, as he reunites with Licini and meets other avant-garde Italian painters, such as Campigli, de Chirico and De Pisis . He also founded the Groupe des Sept (Group of Seven) together with these artists, later receiving the Legion of Honor from the French government. Tozzi's bond with his homeland is profound. In Suna, he spent much of his childhood and adolescence, a period during which he received his first box of paints from Miss Prescott, a family friend, and learned to paint from the painter Alfonso Muzii. The surrounding landscape becomes an inexhaustible source of inspiration for his works. Between 1923 and 1924, he created eight roundels for the church of Santa Lucia, and in 1951 he designed a monument to the fallen of the two world wars, built on the lakefront in front of the church.
Returning to Rome in 1936, Mario Tozzi dedicated himself to frescoes, creating important works such as the one for the Palace of Justice in Milan in 1938. He also took part in several editions of the Venice Biennale. The 1940s and 1950s represented for him a period of little work and serious health problems, which however did not prevent him from exhibiting periodically.
In 1958, Mario Tozzi returned to exhibit at the Galleria Annunciata in Milan and, in 1960, he settled in the family home in Suna. Here he produces paintings characterized by "white backgrounds" and color lithographs depicting female heads.
Tozzi's works reflect a modern interpretation of classical subjects, using solid geometric shapes as the sphere, the cylinder and the cone. His compositions show influences of Cubism , Metaphysics and Abstractionism . In his painting he prefers the use of chiaroscuro and a dense mixture of pigments and glue.
In 1971, he returned to France to be near his daughter and grandchildren, and died there in 1979. After his death, Mario Tozzi's artistic legacy continues to be recognized and celebrated. In 1988, Giorgio Mondadori Editore published the general catalog raisonné of Mario Tozzi's paintings, edited by Marilena Pasquali in collaboration with her daughter Francesca Tozzi and the Studio Tozzi of Foiano della Chiana. In 2012 the Mario Tozzi Artistic Cultural Association was established and in 2021, the Italian Ministry of Culture declared the Archive of Maestro Mario Tozzi to be of particularly important historical interest. Mario Tozzi leaves an indelible mark on the artistic panorama of the twentieth century, managing to blend tradition and innovation in a unique and distinctive balance.



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