Amedeo Bocchi, painter, was born in Parma in 1883 and died in Rome in 1976
Born in Parma in 1883, Amedeo Bocchi is now unanimously considered one of the leading figures of 20th century Italian art.
An apprentice of Cecrope Barilli at the local Academy of Fine Arts since he was 12, he moved to the School of Nude Art in Rome at the age of 19, attending courses for three years.
His main interest at that time was in social painting, as can be noticed from three intense paintings dating to 1905-06: The Baptism, The Revolt, depicting his sisters’ Merope and Anita faces and The Artillery Man.
In 1906 Bocchi married a schoolmate at the Academy of fine arts, Rita and his daughter Bianca born in 1908, became one of his favourite subjects. Unfortunately his wife died the following year.
In 1910 two of his paintings were admitted at the Biennale, the art exhibition in Venice and Bocchi moved to Padova to specialize in fresco techniques with Achille Casanova, who was decorating the interiors of the Basilica of St. Anthony. His new decorative skills thus enabled him to work with Parmesan artists Latino Barilli, Daniele de Strobel and Renato Brozzi at the the reconstruction of the Gold Hall in the Castle of Torrechiara. In the same year, his works were displayed side by side with works by Gustav Klimt in the International Exhibition of Valle Giulia.
In 1913 the bank Cassa di Risparmio di Parma, asked Bocchi to decorate the Council hall in his headquarters, and the artist started working between 1913 and 1915 at a series of sketches and tests before beginning the paintings on the walls, dedicated to the theme of savings and completed in 1916.
In 1916 Bocchi moved to a splendid studio-house in Rome belonging to a wealthy Alsatian, where he lived for the rest of his life. In 1919 he married again to one of his young models, but the early death of his second wife Niccolina in 1923 and the loss of his beloved daughter Bianca at only 26 brought back tragedy to his life.
Devoting to memories his remaining years, he painted the touching cycle called Journey of a Soul and continued to work with unending passion until he died in Rome in December 1976.
Most of his works are now on display at Ape Parma museum.