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A balance between mastery and technical artistry

Some artists leave an indelible mark on art history through their works, their philosophy and their vision. While some embrace a revolutionary, avant-garde approach, others focus purely on technique, reworking and reshaping it to suit their individual perspective.

Pietro Annigoni, who was born in Milan in 1910 and died in Florence in 1988, is one of the most significant Italian artists of the 20th century. An extraordinary portrait artist, he not only depicted reality both faithfully and realistically, but also explored the innermost souls of his models, bringing their hidden selves to the fore.

An incredibly charismatic man and artist, Annigoni lived in a century of turbulent revolutions and uprisings. Drawing on his unique technical skills, which enabled him to create both large-scale works and intricate engravings, the Maestro devoted his art to championing the centrality and transcendence of the human being, foreseeing its imminent decline with almost prophetic wisdom.

Annigoni gained international fame in 1954 with his portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, a masterpiece that established him as one of the most influential portrait painters of his time. Over the years, he painted many portraits of famous people, including political leaders, artists and members of the aristocracy, leading to him being featured on seven ‘Time’ magazine covers. Today, his works are exhibited in the world’s most prestigious museums.

Pietro Annigoni worked with Magnani 1404 to develop a paper specifically designed to meet his requirements, which is still available today in the Fine Arts product range.
This beige paper is made with coloured cellulose fibres to achieve a warm, distinctive tone, and was developed in collaboration with Magnani’s master papermakers. Popular all over the world and particularly suitable for techniques such as charcoal, sanguine and pastel, the traditional cylinder mould machine process gives this paper a unique structure and texture, forming the perfect base for the creative expression of the artist’s works.

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