Carlo Collodi

Carlo Lorenzini, better known with his pseudonym Collodi (from the name of his mother’s hometown), was born in Florence in 1826 in a very modest family. His father was a cook and his mother worked as seamstress and maid for the Garzoni family. Lorenzini studied in the school led by the religious order of the Scolopi and later joined the seminar. However, he proved to be a fervent supporter of Mazzini (he participated, as a volunteer, to the two war of independence, in 1848 and 1859).
His political beliefs generated some tensions with the grand duke Leopold, tensions that have been exaggerated by the “hagiographers” of the Risorgimento. The truth is that Collodi remained a civil servant until his retirement who also joined the office for the theatre censorship.
With his versatile, creative, and playful mind, the author applied himself to journalism and founded “il Lampione” (the Lamppost), a periodical magazine with the aim of “shading light for those who grope in the dark”. After the restoration of the Grand Duchy, the magazine had to close (it was reopened eleven years later) and the founder started a new project “la Scaramuccia”, while writing also for some other magazines, such as “il Fanfulla”.
His writing activity increased after his retirement, and was addressed particularly to children. He died in 1890. olortransforms:lumm=50000’>Opposed to the fascist regime, he was strongly disappointed by the lack of morality that characterized the restoration of democracy. In 1947, together with other artists, he signed the “Manifesto dei Pittori Moderni della Realtà” (the manifest of the modern painter of reality). With it, they declared themselves against the abstract art and the several informal art streams of the time. However, Annigoni stayed faithful to this concept that to him, as a follower of the thought of Benedetto Croce, had an ethical rather than esthetical meaning .Since 1949 his success started to spread world-wide. He exposed in important galleries all over the world. in 1969 he was left widowed. He kept travelling looking for always different emotions, cultures, landscapes that he managed to grasp and synthetize in his sketches and drawings, and also in the lines of his diary, where we can see his writing skill emerging. The most famous characters of the last century posed for him. His works are exposed in the most important museum of the world. His frescoes, most of them inspired by religious subjects, recall the great renaissance tradition using a modern tone. Annigoni died in Florence in 1988.

by Carlo Collodi