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Painting from Levy Moses

Moses Levy

Levy Moses (Arabic: موزس ليفي), born on February the 3rd 1885 in Tunis and died on April the 2nd in 1968 in Viareggio, is an Italian-British painter and engraver from Tunisia. He is one of the pioneers of the genre in Tunisia and one of the predecessors of the school of Tunis. Moses Levy received artistic training at a very young age. In 1900, when he was only fifteen, he attended the Lucca Art Institute. Three years later he trained at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, where he studied with teachers such as Lorenzo Fattori. During this period, he became friends with Lorenzo Viani, Virgilio Carlini or Antonio Antony de Witt. In 1905 he attended the nude school in Florence, a technique which he optimized by taking courses in Paris. In 1907 admitted to the seventh Venice Biennale with seven etchings, he received an award for the work "La raccolta delle Olive". In 1911 he exhibited at the Chamber of Commerce of Tunis and then in 1913 in Rome, on the occasion of an international art exhibition with six etchings. In 1914 he exhibited for the second time at the della Seccione exhibition in Rome, where he, invited, won the first prize for the engraving "Contadino Toscano". These etchings are noticed very quickly. It was during this period that he started practicing woodcut and monotype. After the Second World War, he founded - together with his friends Pierre Boucherle, Jules Lellouche and Antonio Corpora - the École de Tunis: it quickly became a reference in painting in North Africa. His studio in rue de Provence, today's rue du 18-Janvier in Tunis, will become a privileged meeting place for its members and his frequent travels between the two shores of the Mediterranean serve as an inspiration to store and color impressions. Moses Levy plays a lot in his work with color, especially the blue of the sky and the sea and the warm colors of the walls that house an interior that is cool, the colorful costumes of his African subjects, the beaches, especially those of Viareggio or elegant silhouettes of women or children. This 'noisy and fragrant' painting can still be found in these paintings from fairs or markets. Levy knows how to fix the movement without freezing it, depicting the smells by presenting them, without witnessing voyeurism but with a great intimacy of the mix of different populations that co-exist, of the beauty and dignity of the women. He therefore favors movement over still lifes, little in his production: "Moses Levy has clothed this thousand-year-old legacy with the Italian cloak of lyrical dandyism, assuming it with a rare melancholy elegance and mysterious grandeur [...] Scanning the world, a great designer and unparalleled engraver, he managed to blend in his palette, without beauty and even with a certain rigorous hardness, broken tones that were only his." (Wikipedia)