“I occasionally have an image of Pardini, with those deep colors that echo of the sea and the high Versilia sky, with that nervous and acute design that indicates the sensitivity the painter has towards an articulated form based on an idea of the world, which is not contemplative and affected, but immersed in phenomena and notions, sustained by faith in mankind.”
RAFFAELE DE GRADA
He was born in Zurich on 28 February, 1916, to a family of painters who emigrated from Italy at the start of the century. Returning to Italy with his family during World War I, he studied in San Gimignano, in Florence and then finally in Milan, where he soon began working as an art critic for the publications L’Italia Letteraria, L’Orto, Augustea, until, along with a group of young Milan-based intellectuals, he published Corrente, a monthly magazine concentrating on the anti-fascist cultural forces at work during that period. Arrested by the fascists in 1938 and in 1943, De Grada, after having fought in the war for two years in Sicily, became a resistance partisan fighter, first in an organizational capacity in Milan and in Lombardy, then in Tuscany, where he was involved in the liberation of Florence. A political commentator and manager with the state TV network, RAI, from 1944 to 1952, he edited the art and literature magazines Il ’45 and Realismo, was an art critic for L’Unità, Giorni-Vie Nuove, L’Illustrazione Italiana and, above all, for RAI. The author of numerous non-fiction books on contemporary art history and art from the 19th century, he taught Art History at the Accademia di Brera, was director of the Accademia and the Pinacoteca Comunale in Ravenna and the Accademia di Arte e Restauro in Como. He was a city councillor in Milan and a member of parliament. He is currently a contributor to Corriere della Sera, Arte Mondadori and other periodicals.
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