ABBATI, Giuseppe
(b. 1836, Napoli, d. 1868, Firenze)

The Cloister of Santa Croce

Oil on cardboard, 19 x 25 cm
Galleria dell'Arte Moderna, Palazzo Pitti, Florence

Abbati painted in the cloisters of Santa Croce in Florence in 1861-62 while the monument was being restored. Numerous black and white marble blocks were strewn around the grounds, offering clear-cut shapes and sharp, elementary contrasts. Beyond the empty foreground, a row of stones is placed against the shaded walkway of the cloisters, with only the figure of a worker or stonemason as a living element in this rather abstract composition.