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Sometimes the life and art of a painter is so exceptional and unique that it borders on myth and legend. That is exactly the case with Mattia Moreni (b. Pavia, 1920; d. Brisighella, 1999). Moreni’s blond hair was a reflection of the genes that he said he had inherited from his Habsburg ancestors, the same Hasburgs we find in the portraits by Velázquez on display at the Prado in Madrid.

On some occasions, he talked about his stay in Paris, when his studio was inside the Moulin Rouge. According to art historian Renato Barilli, at the time “he exhibited his paintings at the Rive Droite, side by side with the great stars of that crucial period: Fautrier, Dubuffet, Pollock, Tobey.”

LA BELLA ASBURGO. AUTORITRATTO N. 57, 1992 OIL AND MIXED MEDIA ON CANVAS CM 136 X 105

This could be enough to explain who he was, but there is more. Moreni participated in many editions of the Venice Biennale and in the Kassel Documenta, and his work is part of museum and private collections worldwide.

MORENI A 5 ANNI DI SUA ETÀ. AUTORITRATTO N. 28, 1991 OIL AND MIXED MEDIA ON CANVAS CM 120 X 100

The exhibition in Cortina offers not only an opportunity to see his “powerful” painting in person, but also an opportunity to explore the history of the twentieth century.

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