6 – The school of colour

Ever since I was a child, paper, pencils and colours were my joy, and attempting to draw my greatest pleasure. One day during mass, I drew an old man, gathered in prayer, which aroused the admiration of my fellow villagers. While my peers enjoyed their games, I would withdraw to doodle. I was fortunate to have the great painter Enrico Cavalli as my first teacher at the School of Fine Arts in Santa Maria. He had studied painting at the academy in Lyon, which was directed at that time by Guichard, Delacroix’s colleague in decorating the Apollo room in the Louvre. Afterwards he remained in France, working with the great masters who were leading the world art movement. In that humble school, hidden in the mountains, lessons were taught that sowed the seeds of artistic renewal, which constituted the most important event in modern art. Cavalli, an admirable colourist, developed in me a sense of harmony of colour, an understanding of natural beauty and initiated me into the investigation of the phenomenon of light.

Brief memoirs of Carlo Fornara – Carlo Fornara, Taccuini 1918 (Notebooks 1918) from Bello di colore, Scheiwiller 1969