24 March 1860
|Died||17 May 1915|
|Known for||Genre, portrait and landscape painting|
|Elda, Lo Scialle Rosso, Venditrice d'aranci, Gentiluomo A Cavallo, La Maddalena nel Deserto|
|Awards||Gold medal Accademia Albertina, silver medal Esposizione d'Arte Sacra, Turin, 1898|
|Patron(s)||Negozianti d'Arte di Colà|
Ernesto Serra was born on 24 March 1860 in Varallo Sesia. He studied at the Accademia Albertina in Turin under Professor Andrea Gastaldi (1826-1889) and won a gold medal for portrait painting. He specialized in genre, landscape and portrait painting.
At the Italian Exposition in Turin in 1884 he exhibited a portrait of a lady called Elda, which was highly appreciated by the public and of which he subsequently produced about fifteen versions. The Elda was acquired by the committee of the Exposition to serve as prize for the exposition lottery. In 1886, he exhibited Così? at the Primaverile Fiorentina (Florentine Spring) exposition organised by the Società delle belle Arti di Firenze in Florence. This was followed by exposition of the paintings Lilia, Civetteria and Trastulli materni at the 1887 Esposizione Nazionale Artistica di Venezia (National Artistic Exposition of Venice). From 1888 until 1895 he was sponsored by the Negozianti d'Arte di Colà and lived in Paris for two years where he exhibited Maura pienserosa and Visione at the Exposition Universelle (1889).
After his return to Italy, he had his studio at Corso Valentino 2 in Turin. In 1897 Serra exhibited paintings at the Biennale di Venezia (Venice Biennale) and in 1898 exposed three paintings (Compagni di giuochi, Venditrice d'aranci and Una mossa difficile) at the Esposizione Generale Italiana, and two religious paintings (Il Sonno del Bambino Gesù and Maddalena nel Deserto) at the Esposizione d'Arte Sacra Antica e Moderna (Exposition of Sacred Art) in Turin, for which he was awarded a silver medal. The committee responsible for the Valsesian show at the exposition published a magazine to represent the works of Valsesian artists at the exposition, which also featured works of Ernesto Serra. In 1901 he exposed Falciatore (the haymaker) at the International Art Exposition of Munich, which was very well received and re-exposed in 1904 at the Internazionale in Rome and in 1913 at the Esposizione della Promotrice di Belle Arti in Turin. In 1902 he participated in the Esposizione Quadriennale di Belle Arte in Turin with Fiori d'aprile. Many of Serra's paintings were acquired by state and municipal galleries, but he was also supporterd by king Victor Emmanuel III of Italy and by Princess Isabella of Bavaria, the Duchess of Genoa. Later in his life he focused on landscape painting of the mountains near Turin.
List of paintings
- Lo Scialle Rosso (Woman with red scarf), no date. Oil on canvas, 40x61 cm.
- Elda, no date. Exhibited at the Italian Exposition in Turin in 1884.
- Ritratto Di Giovane Dama (A young beauty, Elda?), no date. Oil on canvas, 44x72 cm.
- Spanish Beauty, Elda?, no date. Oil on canvas, 46x67 cm.
- A maiden in satin cloak, Elda?, no date. Oil on canvas, 44x70 cm.
- Portrait De Jeune Orientale (Juive de Venise, Elda?), no date. Oil on canvas, 43x69 cm. Private collection M.J. Waterloo, Amsterdam.
- Ritratto Di Giovinetta, Elda?, no date. Oil on canvas, 40x69 cm.
- Portrait Of A Young Beauty (possibly Sarah Bernhardt), Elda?, no date. Oil on canvas, 39x64 cm.
- Ritratto di fanciulla, no date. Oil on canvas, 38x77 cm.
- Farfalla nera (black butterfly, young man's portrait), no date. Exhibited at L'Esposizione di Belle Arti a Brera in 1985.
- Lilia, no date. Exhibited at the National Artistic Exposition, Venice, 1887.
- Civetteria, no date. Exhibited at the National Artistic Exposition, Venice, 1887.
- Trastulli materni, no date. Exhibited at the National Artistic Exposition, Venice, 1887.
- Venetian marriage, no date.
- Gypsy Woman with a Tambourine, 1883. Oil on canvas, 79x125 cm.
- First communion, Venice, no date. Oil on canvas.
- Maura pienserosa (Pensive Maura), no date. Oil on canvas, 30x40 cm. Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Rome, Italy.
- Visione, no date. Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna, Turin, Italy.
- Alla Fontana, no date. Oil on canvas, 85x130 cm.
- Atmospheric sunsets, no date. Oil on canvas, pair of paintings, one signed, 60 x 100 cm.
- Compagni di giuochi, no date. Oil on canvas. Exposed at the 1898 Esposizione Generale Italiana in Turin.
- Una mossa difficile, no date. Oil on canvas. Exposed at the 1898 Esposizione Generale Italiana in Turin.
- Venditrice d'aranci (The orange seller), no date. Oil on canvas, 85x130 cm. Exposed at the 1898 Esposizione Generale Italiana in Turin.
- Venditrice d'aranci (The orange seller), no date, Oil on canvas, 58x90 cm.
- Il Sonno del Bambino Gesù, Oil on canvas. Exposed at the 1898 Esposizione d'Arte Sacra Antica e Moderna in Turin.
- La Maddalena nel Deserto, Oil on canvas. Exposed at the 1898 Esposizione d'Arte Sacra Antica e Moderna in Turin.
- Girl with basket of lambs, no date. Oil on canvas, 90x133 cm.
- Haymaking in the Forest, no date. Oil on canvas, 119x168 cm.
- Gentiluomo A Cavallo (Gentleman Riding Horse), 1899. Oil on canvas, 143x300 cm.
- Dama Che Legge (Lady reading), no date. Oil on canvas, 112x167 cm.
- Dolci Pensieri, no date. Oil on canvas, 66x91 cm.
- Fanciulla Col Gatto, no date. Oil on canvas, 36x50 cm.
- Val di Cogne, no date. Oil on canvas, 140x100 cm.
- Ernesto Marini (Ed.), 1901. Augusta Taurinorum; Torino Illustrata nelle sue Cose e nei suoi Cittadini: i viventi pittore. Genoa. p. 218-219. In Italian.
- E. Benezit, 1976. Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des peintres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs et graveurs. Volume 9, p. 534. Librairie Gründ. Paris, France. ISBN 9782700001495. In French.
- http://www.comanducci.it/en/ Archived 2016-01-24 at the Wayback Machine A. M. Comanducci, 1970. Dizionario illustrato dei Pittori, Disegnatori e Incisori Italiano Moderni e Contemporanei, Milano.
- Angelo de Gubernatis and Ugo Matini, 1889. Dizionario degli Artisti Italiani Viventi: pittori, scultori, e Architetti., Tipi dei Successori Le Monnier. p. 470. In Italian.
- Galleria Bollardi, 1917. Vendita al pubblico incanto dello studio di Ernesto Serra e della raccolta di un'illustra famiglia Lombarda. Anno IV, Catalogo 5. Milano, 48 p.
- Istituto Matteucci short biography.
- Roux Frassati e Co., 1898. Esposizione Generale Italiana: Catalogo Illustrato delle belle Arti. Torino. 246 p.
- Roux Frassati e Co., 1898. Catalogo di arte sacra: antica, moderna, applicata. Torino, 223 p.
- Roux Frassati e Co., 1898. Arte sacra: rassegna illustrata dell'Esposizione d'Arte Sacra indetta a Torino. 308 p.
- Rassegna Populare Illustrata. Esposizione Generale Italiana e d'Arte Sacra. Weekly magazine, issue 29 March 1898, No. 13.