POSEIDON & ARTEMIS
Signed l.r. A SPADINI
Pen & brown and black inks with pencil
28 x 20 cm
Private Collection, Rome
Spadini was born in Poggia a Caiano, near Florence, and studied first at the school of Santa Croce, before enrolling in the 'Free School of Nude' at the Florence Academy of Fine Arts. Here he met Ardengo Soffici and Adolfo de Carolis, becoming a close collaborator with the latter (who was one of Italy's chief exponents of art noveau at the time). In 1901, Spadini entered the 'Alinari' competition at the Academy, winning second prize for his illustrations of Dante's Divine Comedy. After completing his military service in 1903-05, Spadini returned to Florence and soon after won the 1909 Pensionato artistico nazionale. He moved with his wife Pasqualina to Rome in 1910. Here he befriended Emilio Cecchi, a prominent critic, who was to deem him one of the finest artists of the nascent century.
After exhibiting at the Pensionato artistico in 1912 Spadini participated in the exhibitions of the Secessione Romana in 1913 and 1915. A brief hiatus followed this as Spadini was recalled to military service during the War; however the onset of poor health which was to lead to his premature death meant he was discharged before the end of the conflict. He moved with his wife and children to a small villa in Parioli, at the time on the edge of the Roman countryside, which would become the destination of frequent visits from his literary and artistic friends: Emilio Cecchi, Antonio Baldini, Vincenzo Cardarelli, Giovanni Papini, Ardengo Soffici, Giuseppe Ungaretti, Cipriano Efisio Oppo, Giorgio De Chirico and Amerigo Bartoli.
Spadini participated in several exhibitions between Rome and Florence and, in 1918, his works were displayed at the Italian Art exhibition in Zurich, as well as a solo show at the Casina Valadier in the grounds of the Villa Borghese, Rome. In 1920, thanks to the interest of the conservative art critic Ugo Ojetti, who dedicated a short monograph to him that year, he won a professorship in Florence, but renounced it in order stay in Rome.
In the same year as Ojetti's publication, Spadini was appointed Academician of S. Luca and, from the following year onwards, he was part of the committee for the Rome Bienalle (between 1921-1925). In 1922, presented by the dealer Savinio, he exhibited his paintings at the spring Fiorentina with his group of Valori Plastici. In 1923 he took part in a significant exhibition of Italian art in Buenos Aires. A year later an entire room was hung with thirty seven of his paintings at the Fourteenth Venice Bienalle, which cemented his position among Italy's most established artists. Spadini's works were also present at the Carnegie Exhibition in Pittsburgh that year. The writers Oppo, Baldini, Cecchi and Soffici dedicated a monograph to Spadini in Galleria magazine in the penultimate year of his life.
Armando Spadini died in Rome on March 31, 1925. His remains rest in the cemetery of Poggio a Caiano, in front of his friend Ardengo Soffici, and on his tombstone it is written: For art he lived, died, and will live. The 1931 National Quadrennial of Art in Rome dedicated an entire room to the artist with a large collection of his paintings, on loan from collectors of the late artist's works.