154. Francesco Lojacono (1838 – 1915)

Painter born in Palermo, Lojacono is considered the most important landscape painter of the Sicilian nineteenth century tradition. He was also among the first painters to use the photograph as a reference to create his works.

Lojacono received his early training from his father Luigi, a painter himself trained by Salvatore Lo Forte. In 1856 he won a gold medal for a small canvas exhibited in Palermo. The prize granted him a stipend which he used to move to Naples to attend the school of Nicola Palizzi and visit Florence -where he connected with the “Macchiaioli”. With the outbreak of revolution in 1860, he returned to Sicily and he served in Garibaldi’s expedition of one thousand volunteers with his father and his brother. LoJacono participated also in the march towards Rome in 1862, when he was taken prisoner on the Aspromonte. Once free, he devoted his energies to painting intensely lyrical landscapes drawing inspiration in particular from the area around Agrigento and later the coast near Palermo.

"Veduta di Palermo", Francesco LoJacono
“Veduta di Palermo”, Francesco LoJacono

He obtained the post of professor of landscape at the Naples Institute of Fine Arts in 1872 and taught the courses of landscape and seascape painting at the Palermo Academy of Fine Arts from 1896 to 1914. He took part in the international exhibitions held in Vienna (1872) and Paris (1878) and presented work with unquestionable success at the major national events, including the Palermo exhibition of 1891–92. Lojacono was named “Commendatore” of the Order of the Crown of Italy.

Among its clients there were several aristocrats. In 1883 The unexpected arrival was bought in Rome by Queen Margherita of Savoy for the “Palazzo del Quirinale”. “After the rain” was realized in 1886 for Princess Giulia Lanza of Trabia, and “Summer” was purchased by King Umberto I in 1891.

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