At the start of his studies, Gelati was especially interested in literature. Subsequently supported by the teachings of Carlo Markò, he became attracted to painting; he focused primarily on plein-air landscape painting. His views of the Valdarno region, the Sienese countryside, and the Versilian coastline come from this period.

In the years around 1850, he often went to the Caffè Michelangelo in Florence, and at the end of 1851, he painted two murals in the “artists” rooms: “Tramonto” (Sunset) and “Ruderi con la luna” (Ruins with moon). Gelati felt the Macchiaioli influence deeply, even though he wasn’t part of the movement itself: in fact, some of his works have been erroneously attributed to Odoardo Borrani, as a result of their stylistic affinity.

Beginning in 1861 and continuing for years, he was a guest at Diego Martelli’s estate in Castiglioncello, and he continued to exhibit his extraordinary plein-air works with different Florentine sponsors of new painting talent.

Written by : Cecilia Iacopetti – Translated by: Paola Ludovici and Nanette Cooper

© Studio d’Arte dell’800