Bruno Cordati bought this building in the early 1970s, but his link with this place dates back to the ’40’s, when, then recently back from Bulgaria, he rented a big room, known as the Concert Hall, and two other rooms also on the (European) first floor, to make into his studio.
It’s an important period in his artistic history, a watershed. He found himself still in the midst of war. This time not on the Front, but dramatically unfolding in his city…and then, as a refugee, in Bagni di Lucca about 15 km SE from Barga. This marked both a turning point in his life as a man, as well as in his work as an artist.
During the 40s, other families rented spaces and lived in the building. And there was a small workshop operated by a local mechanic, a busy knitter’s atelier operated by the two Pieri sisters, also housed on the (European) first floor. Casa Cordati was a beehive of activity.
Everybody should take active part in the battle of art, because the artist’s life is connected to the life of all his contemporaries, and because art leaves eternal traces of the life of peoples. Bruno Cordati
But in the last ten years of his life, Cordati could finally live and work here alone. After having restored the roof, he moved his study to the present-day exhibition galleries, and he created a comfortable apartment in his former studio, where his daughter, my mother, now resides.
In his last years, he painted in the first room of exhi-bition galleries and used the big room to stroll a little, consider the idea for a new painting, reflect on one on the easel, or simply to relieve the tensions of the day.
Inside the palazzo is a permanent exhibition which is open to the public in the summer and at other times of the year on request to the family (tel. 0583/723450 – 050/36105). The exhibition, which is located on the first floor, is composed of six rooms.
The first is dedicated to the early works of Bruno Cordati, with famous paintings like the Chiccheri or Figures in motion.
The second is dedicated to women, there are paintings dating from the ’40s to the ’70s, demonstrating both the big change in technique and the respect that Cordati had for the female figure and for a woman’s personality.
Coming back you can visit the room of the kitchen, with a selection of paintings of the last period, so you can see the extraordinary use of color and mastery of the palette, the Bulgarian Room, where I gathered the works he painted in Bulgaria, but also some still lives and some self-portraits not of this period, the room of landscapes, with paintings ranging, here too, from the ’40s to the ’70s.
In the concert hall there is a wall dedicated to the motherhoods: there are paintings from the ‘ 60s and ‘ 70s. Despite not being religious, the subject of motherhood is much alive in Cordati: he in some cases paints real Madonnas with child. On the opposite wall there are paintings dedicated to children, another important theme for Cordati, and to his daughter Bruna.
THE CASA CORDATI SITE IS HERE