The second of the five brothers, Angiolo was born in Livorno. There he attended the local School of Drawing, after which he frequented Angiolo Lemmi’s and Natale Betti’s studios. When his mother died in the 1870’s, his father remarried Mrs. Adele Bertolini who owned a home in Bellariva – not far from Florence – called “la Casaccia”.
To nurture the artistic proclivities of both Angiolo and his brother Ludovico, the family moved to Bellariva so that the sons might attend the Academy of Fine Arts and the classes offered by Giuseppe Ciaranfi. La Casaccia soon became the place where artists and scholars such as Giovanni Fattori, Telemaco Signorini and Silvestro Lega would meet weekly. Lega, a frequent visitor, was invited by Mr. and Mrs. Tommasi to attend to the artistic education of young Angiolo and, later on, younger Ludovico.
In 1882 Angiolo married Adelina Bertolini, his stepmother’s sister. In 1885 he moved to Florence, where he exhibited his works at the Promotrice shows for new talent. In 1889, he received an award for “Le Bagnanti” (Women swimming) in Paris and in 1899, Tommasi participated in the First Venice Biennial. At the beginning of the new century he travelled to Latin America where his voyages ranged far and wide, from Patagonia to Tierra del Fuego, exhibiting some of his works in Buenos Aires.
Once back in Italy, he moved to Torre del Lago, in the vicinity of Lucca, where he became a member of Giacomo Puccini’s entourage and devoted himself to a style of painting that had moved beyond the Macchiaioli revolution. In 1920, a solo exhibition of his works was held in Florence.
Written by : Cecilia Iacopetti – Translated by: Paola Ludovici and Nanette Cooper
© Studio d’Arte dell’800