BANTI, Cristiano
(b. 1824, Santa Croce sull'Arno, d. 1904, Montemurlo)


Italian painter, who received a Neo-classical education at the Art Institute of Siena, where he studied under the guidance of Francesco Cenci.

In 1848 he won a triennal competition with a painting which show that the young Banti's interests were far away from the Siena Academy. In 1854 he moved to Florence, where he began to attend the Caffè Michelangiolo. In the 1850s he produced historical paintings. In the same period he married and frequently stayed in the villas of Montorsoli and Montemurlo, where friends and less wealthy artists were his guests and where he gathered an important collection of works of Fattori, Boldini, Abbati, Signorini, Lega and also some Corots and Courbets and a dozen of Fontanesi.

In the Spring of 1860 he began to paint "en plein air" in the countryside of Montelupo together with Signorini and Borrani; later on he worked with Cabianca in Montemurlo, then in La Spezia with Altamura and Signorini. In May 1861 he went to Paris with Signorini and Cabianca (he will return there again in 1871, 1874 and 1875). Here he deepened the knowledge of Barbizon painting visiting an exhibition organized by the National Fine Arts Society and meeting Troyon and Corot.

He spent more and more time in the countryside, working hard. In 1884 he was appointed Professor at the Florence Academy and member of the Reorganizer Commission of the Uffizi.

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