Zandomeneghi, Federico

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Federico Zandomeneghi (1841-1917)




Was Zandomeneghi an Impressionist?

Though Zandomeneghi came to Paris in 1874 and visited the 1st ‘impressionist’ exposition, it was only in 1879 that he joined these expositions. He was invited by Degas, with whom he was strongly befriended and with whom he announced partaking in 1882. All together he participated in 4 of the 8 ‘impressionist’ expositions. He also was befriended with Guillaumin, Pissarro and Renoir and he regularly visited the Café Nouvelle Athènes. All this makes him a semi-prominent figure within the ‘impressionist’ art-movement.
Zandomeneghi mainly did figure painting. In many figures he renders details. Mostly they don’t blend with their background. There also is an emphasize on drawing. Many models seem caught in the moment of their daily activities. Most of these models are elegant ladies. Though Zandomeneghi sometimes uses black, most of his paintings are quite colourful. He regularly uses juxtaposed brushstrokes. Until about 1877 Zandomeneghi used a more realist painting style. After 1877he integrates many impressionist elements, but doesn’t fully adept an impressionist style.


Federico Zandomeneghi joined the ‘impressionist’ expositions in 1879, 1880, 1881 and 1886:

At the 4th ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1879 Zandomeneghi showed 5 works (catalogue numbers 242-246; R2,p271). He was invited by Degas (R74;aR2).
At the 5th ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1880 Zandomeneghi showed 8 works (catalogue numbers 225-232; R2,p314), including 4 fans.
At the 6th ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1881 Zandomeneghi showed 5 works (catalogue numbers 166-170; R2,p356).
At the 8th ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1886 Zandomeneghi showed 12 works (catalogue numbers 235-246; R2,p447), including 8 pastels.
See link for his exhibited works. See link for an +/-account.


Federico Zandomeneghi at the Salon and other exhibitions:

Before Zandomeneghi exhibited with the Impressionists, he exhibited at the Salon in 1877. And in between in 1884 (he was called Frédéric) (iR1).
1888: his works became part of the Italian section of the Universal Exhibition in Paris (aR3). In 1893 he had a solo exhibition at Durand-Ruel (in the USA) (aR2;R9;iR3;aR1;aR3). 1898/03: another exhibition at Durand-Ruel (aR1). 1906: He sends two works to the International Exhibition in Milan, but the reception is very cold (aR1). 1908/10 exhibits at the Rosenberg Gallery (aR1). 1908/12: participates in the exhibition “La Comédie Humaine” at the Georges Petit Gallery, together with Forain, Van Dongen, Raffaelli (aR1;aR3).   In 1914 he exhibited at the Biennale at Venice in a room for his own, but the lukewarm reception of his compatriots disappoints him (R9;iR70;aR2;aR1;aR3).


Zandomeneghi as an artist:

He was called ‘Zandò’ by his friends (R116I,p199;iR70). 1856-59: study at the ‘Accademia di Belle Arti’ in Venice and later in Pavia (iR41;iR3;R3;R9;aR1).  1862-66/7: he joined the Macchiaioli in Florence (R74;R3,p546;R9;iR69;iR3;aR2;aR1); they painted in the open what they saw in nature, rendering especially the light and scenes of everyday life, using firm patches (macchia) of bright colour (R3,p534+7;R5,p215;R8,p384;iR3); they emphasized the claire-obscure (R3,p537/8); they came together in ‘Caffè Michelangiolo’ (R3,p535;R8,p384;iR41;iR3;aR1). Still Zandomeneghi was not much influenced by them (R9). Zandomeneghi was influenced by Michele Cammarano (iR69). During this time he also had contacts with the art-critic Diego Martelli (R9;R8,p384;iR70;iR5).
In Paris, after 1874, Zandomeneghi belonged to a groupe of expatriate Italians, including Giovanni Boldini and Giuseppe de Nittis (iR70;aR3). He became friends with Degas, Pissarro, Renoir and related artists like Manet and Toulouse-Lautrec (iR70;R3;R74;R16;R8,p384;iR70;iR69;iR5). Some claim Zandomeneghi belonged to the clan around Degas (R5,p47+125;R1,p449+523;R116I,p175;); Huysmans (1880) made this division (R1,p441); so does Caillebotte (1881/01/24) calling him a fighter of Realism (R102,p275;R1,p448). Zandomeneghi and Degas were lifelong friends (aR2). Zandomeneghi visited sometimes Café Nouvelle-Athènes (R5,p47;R116I,p199;aR2), sometimes (R1,p399) or frequently (aR3). 1886: painted en plein-air with Guillaumin in the Chevreuse valley (aR3). 1888: influenced by the Divisionism of Seurat and Signac (aR1). He was very complimentary to Pissarro when he exhibited in 1891 prints and pastel drawing (R116I,p228). At the end of October 1898 Zandomeneghi meets Pissarro in Amsterdam; they make a trip to Haarlem and Zaandam and enjoy a Rembrandt exhibition, other old masters and the picturesque country (R116I,p285/6).
At first Zandomeneghi was not much influenced by the Macchiaioli and painted in a sober, social naturalistic style (R9). In a realist style he reproduced everyday life (aR3).  Zandomeneghi produced most of his impressionist masterpieces in the late 1870s and early 1880s (iR70). He than focussed on the direct observation of the light and atmospheric effects (R9). His works have a certain sadness, like the gloomy realism of Degas (R9). He painted with a loose, sketchy brushstrokes (R3,p546). He rendered the modern life (R3,p546). Sometimes he used a post-impressionistic flat, simplified style (R3,p546). At his later years he made many (flower) still lives (R9). He was mainly a figure painter (iR3). His figures are more sentimental than those of Degas (iR3;aR2). 1880 onwards pastel became an important medium for Zandomeneghi (iR5); some sources mention this was 1890 onwards (iR3).
He never had much success (R3,p546;R9;iR3). He therefor also earned his money with drawing for fashion magazines (iR3;R3,p546). (Later on) his work was bought by Durand-Ruel (R74;R8,p384;iR3) and he enjoyed a modest success (aR2;iR3). In Italy he stayed unappreciated (aR2;iR3). Albert Bartholomé made a plaster of Zandomeneghi in 1890 (iR69). Guglielmo Taubertie (1876-1949) was his pupil (iR70). Suzanne Valadon was one of his models (iR70;aR3).


Zandomeneghi, a short biography:

  • 1841/06/02: Federico Zandomeneghi was born in Venice (iR24;iR69;iR3;R9;R3;R74;iR1;R16;aR2)
    Sometimes his first name is written as Frederico or Federigo (iR24).
  • His father and grandfather were neo-classic sculptors (iR41;R3;iR69;iR3;aR2).
  • 1860-2: takes part at the Italian national movement led by Garibaldi and was arrested in 1862 (R3;R9;iR41;iR3;aR1).
  • 1862-66/7: lived in Florence (R74;R3;R9;iR41).
  • 1866/10/24: his father the sculptor Pietro Zandomeneghi died in Venice (iR69)
  • 1866/7-74: mainly lives at Venice (R3;R74;iR5)
  • 1866-74: visits at Rome and Florence (R3;iR3;iR5;aR1)
  • 1874: goes to Paris (R3;R8,p384;iR69;iR3;aR2). He never returned to Italy (aR2).
    He lived in the Hotel de Bruxelles, Rue de Clichy (aR1).
  • He lives withdrawn and lonely (R3,p546)
  • 1877: he lived at 45, rue de la Victoire, Paris (iR1;aR1)
  • 1878-9: Zandomeneghi lived at 25, passage de l’Élysée-des-Beaux-Arts, Paris (Montmartre) (R2,p271;aR1)
  • 1880+81: he lived at 4, place d’Anvers (R2,p314+356)
  • 1884-86: he lived at 7, rue Tourlague (iR1;R2,p447)
  • 1893: lived with his sister Tonia in the valley of Chavreuse (aR1).
  • 1900ca: he withdraw at Gif-sur-Yvette (R9)
  • 1917/12/30: Zandomeneghi died in his house at 7, rue Tourlaque, Montmartre, Paris (aR3;iR24;iR69;R9;R3;R74;R16). Some sources mention he died 31 December (iR3;aR2;aR1).
  • 1918/01/02: buried at the cemetery of Saint-Ouen (aR1).
  • 1918: auction of the belongings from his studio (aR1).



My main sources are Rewald (1973=R1), Moffett (1986=R2), Walther (2013=R3,p704), Denvir (1993=R5;1992=R8), Schurr&Cabanne (2008=R9,p746), Spiess (1992=R16,p369), Maillard (1968=R74), -/- Robberts (1990=R93), Berhaut (1994=R102), Pissarro&Durand-Ruel (2005=R116), the Salon database (iR1), Wikipedia (iR3-5), RKD (iR24), askart (iR41), Bénézit (iR69), Grove (iR70) and the additional references (=aRx). For other general references (=R) see. My main sources (for the pictures) from the internet are Wikimedia (iR6) and xx. For other references to internet sites (=iR) see. For other additional references (=aR) see below. See links for practical hints and abbreviations and for the subscription of the paintings.

For further reading see:
Piceni, Enrico: Zandomeneghi: L’uomo e l’opera. Milan, 1979 (R2,p505;R3)
Bénézit (1976,vol.X,p869=R75;1999,vol.14,p842-3=R76); Busse (1977,p1374=R77); Witt (1978,p334=R78);Thieme/Becker (vol.36,p402=R79) (iR24)
Piceni, E. : Three Italian friends of the Impressionists: Boldini, De Nittis, Zandomeneghi. Exhibition Catalogue. New York, 1984. (iR70)


Additional references:

  1. (time line of Zandomeneghi in Italian)
  2. (a biography about Zandomeneghi)
  3. (article in Italian an Zandomeneghi)
  4. “Federico Zandomeneghi.” In Database of Modern Exhibitions (DoME). European Paintings and Drawings 1905-1915. Last modified Jul 6, 2020.  =iR261; overview of contributions of Zandomeneghi in exhibitions and auctions from 1905-1915 (6 entries)
  5. x