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Filippo de Pisis was an Italian painter and poet known for his still lifes and cityscapes. Painted with broken brushstrokes and muted pastel hues, De Pisis created the airy quality of a mirage. “Sometimes a chicken feather, a poor dusty feather picked up from the street and contemplated in a moment of grace, can become the spark for the composition of a beautiful painting, a beautiful still life, full of that secret spirit that feels like eternity,” he once mused. Born Luigi Filippo Tibertelli on May 11, 1896 in Ferrara, Italy, he studied literature and philosophy in Bologna where he met Giorgio de Chirico and Giorgio Morandi. De Pisis relocated to Paris in 1925, where he became a part of the milieu of Georges Braque, André Derain, and others. The artist is known for living an eccentric lifestyle including being taken around the city of Venice by a personal gondolier. Over the following decades, he travelled throughout Europe meeting various painters including Vanessa Bell in London. Returning to Italy in 1939 during World War II, he lived in both Milan and Venice while also showing signs of a nervous illness which would eventually prevent him from working. The artist died on April 2, 1956 in Milan, Italy. That same year the Venice Biennale held a retrospective in his honor. Today, De Pisis’s works are held in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, and the Palazzo Ruspoli in Rome, among others.
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