5 – Reality and the work of the imagination

More than reality itself, it is its impact on our spirit that is expressed. Anyone who looks at a landscape at specific times will notice certain features over others, depending on their physical and spiritual disposition, following a law of selective sympathy, which accommodates certain elements and eliminates others as superfluous or foreign to the predominant disposition. The same parts of reality accepted as models are also subjected to workings that alter them from being true. Many of my paintings have thus altered reality or recomposed it, combining elements inferred from different places, often far away from each other.

Carlo Fornara, from Giovanni Bertacchi’s Come nasce un paesaggio (How a Landscape is Born), in Le vie d’Italia number 12, 1936

What colour should a painting be? Beautiful? Truthful? When is it beautiful? Everything is superficial, decorative, doesn’t hold up. A piece of work must be prised from reality with study and effort. The essence of truth, not photographic truth.

Carlo Fornara, Taccuini 1918 (Notebooks 1918) from Bello di colore, Scheiwiller 1969

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