Left fatherless when he was only 6, Lomi was entrusted to the care of a peasant family living in Ardenza, in the province of Livorno. His love of nature and animals comes from his years in the country. As a young man, he was forced to work to support himself, and despite his passion for drawing, was not able to attend art school. Still, he found time to draw wherever and whenever he could, always and constantly.
Since photographic techniques did not yet exist, Giovanni portrayed the departed beloved with a “fading away” effect, using the then-fashionable method of portraying a person who was absent. Because he’d never had an art teacher, he went to the studio of Adolfo Tommasi in the 1920s to get Tommasi’s opinion of his drawings. Tommasi was most encouraging towards him and urged him to continue drawing. In 1921, Lomi married Caterina de Nero, who had an only son named Federigo; in the same year Lomi’s works were shown for the first time in Florence. He subsequently participated in different versions of the Biennial in Brera, the Turin Promotrice shows for new talent and the “Maritime Shows” in Rome.
He took numerous trips so that he could concentrate on plein-air painting, going most often to cities where his solo shows were taking place. For Lomi, this was a rather calm period, one in which he was able to continue painting and still be near his family. In the 1950s, after the end of the second world war, Giovanni began to travel again: he could be found in Paris—where he painted the Seine over a long period of time-Barcelona, and Trieste, a city that was particularly dear to him and that he never stayed away from too long.
Because he was self-taught-deprived of any specific educational orientation-his work has an unmistakable style: hundreds of rough drafts and plein-air sketches form the enormous graphic archive that always preceded his beginning a work on canvas. Lomi’s favorite themes make no concession to superfluous artificiality, but rather focus primarily on the natural light of dawn and sunset. His style is placid; his only teacher, the concrete reality of plein-air painting.
Written by : Cecilia Iacopetti – Translated by: Paola Ludovici and Nanette Cooper
© Studio d’Arte dell’800