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Giuseppe Ajmone: A Painter in Abruzzo

The Pirelli Historical Archive holds four original drawings from 1964 by the painter Giuseppe Ajmone, who made them for Pirelli magazine. These four watercolours and gouaches on paper were commissioned from the artist, who was born in Carpignano Sesia on 17 February 1923, to illustrate Abruzzo senza pastori (“Abruzzo without Shepherds”) an article by the Romagna-born poet Raffaello Baldini.

The article is a tale in words and pictures of Ajmone and Baldini’s journey that year through the Gran Sasso and Maiella mountains. This was a suggested itinerary for tourists, and one of a series of articles published in Pirelli magazine in the late 1950s and in the 1960s. The company turned to the palettes of artists and to the inspiration of photographers to discover the lesser known areas of Italy and other countries. In the winter of 1959, for example, Renato Guttuso and Giovanni Pirelli went down the Nile from Aswan to the delta, while the writer Michele Prisco visited the Amalfi Coast together with his painter friend Gennaro Borrelli. And then Piero Chiara and Giovanni Cazzaniga went on a trip through the green and rocky Valsolda.

The nine watercolours that Ajmone made for this reportage were reproduced across a double page, becoming an important part of the article: an authentic story in pictures telling of the most beautiful lands in Abruzzo, where the landscape takes centre stage, amid natural elements and man-made constructions. The only human figure present in the painter’s works appears in an oil painting showing Signorina Gerarda Ciarletta, a telephone operator from Scanno, one of the few Abruzzo women – as the caption of the work informs us – who still wore the traditional costume. This work was presumably chosen by Arrigo Castellani, who was the editor-in-chief of the magazine at the time, for the cover of the issue in which the article was published.

Giuseppe Ajmone’s painting, with its misty but realistic rendering, effectively conveys the lights and charm of this “ancient land covered with trees, bushes or just moss, with sudden rolling plateaus, villages perched upon the coasts, beautiful little churches, a few sheep here and there, and many abandoned, ruined sheep pens”.

The Pirelli Historical Archive holds four original drawings from 1964 by the painter Giuseppe Ajmone, who made them for Pirelli magazine. These four watercolours and gouaches on paper were commissioned from the artist, who was born in Carpignano Sesia on 17 February 1923, to illustrate Abruzzo senza pastori (“Abruzzo without Shepherds”) an article by the Romagna-born poet Raffaello Baldini.

The article is a tale in words and pictures of Ajmone and Baldini’s journey that year through the Gran Sasso and Maiella mountains. This was a suggested itinerary for tourists, and one of a series of articles published in Pirelli magazine in the late 1950s and in the 1960s. The company turned to the palettes of artists and to the inspiration of photographers to discover the lesser known areas of Italy and other countries. In the winter of 1959, for example, Renato Guttuso and Giovanni Pirelli went down the Nile from Aswan to the delta, while the writer Michele Prisco visited the Amalfi Coast together with his painter friend Gennaro Borrelli. And then Piero Chiara and Giovanni Cazzaniga went on a trip through the green and rocky Valsolda.

The nine watercolours that Ajmone made for this reportage were reproduced across a double page, becoming an important part of the article: an authentic story in pictures telling of the most beautiful lands in Abruzzo, where the landscape takes centre stage, amid natural elements and man-made constructions. The only human figure present in the painter’s works appears in an oil painting showing Signorina Gerarda Ciarletta, a telephone operator from Scanno, one of the few Abruzzo women – as the caption of the work informs us – who still wore the traditional costume. This work was presumably chosen by Arrigo Castellani, who was the editor-in-chief of the magazine at the time, for the cover of the issue in which the article was published.

Giuseppe Ajmone’s painting, with its misty but realistic rendering, effectively conveys the lights and charm of this “ancient land covered with trees, bushes or just moss, with sudden rolling plateaus, villages perched upon the coasts, beautiful little churches, a few sheep here and there, and many abandoned, ruined sheep pens”.