COSTA, Giovanni
(b. 1826, Roma, d. 1903, Marina di Pisa)


Italian painter. He studied in the Neo-classical tradition in Rome with Vincenzo Camuccini, Francesco Podesti (1800-1895), and Francesco Coghetti (1802-1875); he employed the basic academic techniques of painting a scene or figure in mezza macchia, or half-tones, which he also applied to his landscape paintings.

In 1848 Costa joined Giuseppe Garibaldi's Legione Romane; after the fall of the Roman Republic in 1849 he took refuge from the papal police in the Campagna, outside Rome. He met several foreign artists, including the Swiss painter Emile François David and the English painter Charles Coleman (1807-1877); he also met Frederic Leighton (1830-1896) and George Heming Mason (1818-1872). Costa recalled these years and described his working practices in his memoirs, Quel che vidi e quel che intesi (published posthumously in 1927).

Costa's work is characterized by being inspired 'by the love for eternal truth' with an emphasis on working directly from nature and in a clear uncluttered style.

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