Every art is conceived by extraordinary minds and is based on extraordinary beauty.
Not all love stories start from a “coup de foudre”.
The story I’m about to tell you is about a painter who fell in love with a Cinque Terre village, forever..
The legend of a painter in Riomaggiore
Telemaco Signorini used to travel from city to city, in search of inspiration.
One day, while wandering through the narrow streets of La Spezia, he noticed the colourful skirts of a group of women; when he asked them where they were from and why they were dressing that way, they replied by saying they came from Riomaggiore.
The painter, ignoring where Riomaggiore was located, felt a sudden desire to visit the village, which he reached by following the women.
Telemaco Signorini fell in love with Riomaggiore and never left.
The real story
The legend is not that distant from reality, which took place in late 1800.
By that time, Telemaco Signorini was a popular painter in search of a place where he could study more on his “Play of light”, together with a group of colleagues.
It is fairly clear why he was “captured” by Riomaggiore: the narrow streets allow to be gently touched by sunlight that, in turn, highlights buildings one after the other, while creating a mixture of colours that turn the town squares into open air theaters.
The painter himself used to talk about his love for Riomaggiore, writing: “Through falling archways and steps we descended the narrow gorge to the marina, where our senses finally woke up”.
Cinque Terre love and art
The art production of Signorini in Riomaggiore was remarkable and inestimably valuable.
The painter from Florence, having recognized in Riomaggiore his own source of inspiration, represented in his paintings houses, the bay, the sea, the life animating the streets.
The results of his studies are incredibly realistic paintings: plastic seductive shapes capable of making the observer feel somewhere in Cinque Terre, on a 1894 afternoon.