Born in Leghorn, cousin of the brothers Angiolo and Ludovico Tommasi, he studied at the Accademia di Firenze under the guidance of Carlo Markò junior and in 1876 showed his painting “Ingresso al castello di Signa” (Entrance to Signa Castle) at the “Promotrice”.
At the end of the 70’s, at the Tommasi’s estate at Bellariva, he got to know Silvestro Lega, who was “responsible” for making his painting become more naturalistic. He continued to paint from life and in Turin in 1880 showed “Dopo la brina” (After the Frost), that provoked both criticism and praise because its subject matter was unusual. Later, he regularly exhibited rural subjects at the “Promotrice” exhibitions: “La raccolta del fieno” (Haymaking), “Bosco con gregge e pastore” (Wood with shepherd and flock) as well as landscapes and, rarely, genre paintings “Uggia” (Boredom), 1883.
In the 80’s Tommasi’s painting developed from the juvenile pastel tones with chiaroscuro effects to Impressionist type studies in light and atmosphere. In 1887 he showed “Di marzo” (In March), “Sole di luglio” (July Sunshine), “La fonte” (The Fountain) in Florence. In 1892, in Florence yet again, he showed “Primavera” (Spring), purchased by Umberto I for the “Galleria d’Arte Moderna”. In 1893 whe won a gold medal at the International Exhibition of Water Colour Painting at the Milan Permanent Exhibition with “Effetto di neve” (Snow effect).
The painting “Villa Belvedere a Crespina”, painted in 1897, shows the influence of the late 19th century Bocklin school. He was also appointed teacher of drawing at the Accademia Navale di Livorno. He showed at the Ist, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Biennal.
In 1907 a nervous condition interrupted his work and it was only in 1912 that he started painting again. From this date on he executed numerous landscapes of the countryside around Leghorn and Lucca, marine paintings and views of villages in the Apuan Alps and Liguria.
In 1925 he fell ill once again and died in Florence in 1933.
Written by: Gioela Massagli – Translated by: Catherine Biggerstaff
© Studio d’Arte dell’800