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Portrait of Gianna Manzini by Adriana Pincherle

Portrait of Gianna Manzini by Adriana Pincherle

Gianna Manzini's portrait by Adriana Pincherle

The 'painted' novelist returns to its place among the greats of literature. Part of Pincherle's varied collection Italy's top literary personalities, Manzini's depiction returned home post restoration. "Here at the Gabinetto Vieusseux, we still remember the spry, playful look in her eyes when Adriana Pincherle insistently recommended that the sixteen paintings be displayed side by side, in two parallel rows on the Reading Room’s largest wall—a careful and harmonious dose of volumes and colors," recalls the venue's director Gloria Manghetti. Together, these oldtime intellectual companions would be able to keep an eye on a whole new generation of scholars pouring over books and papers linked to them, their work and the twentieth century. Adriana Pincherle had her way. Today, the portraits occupy the space she selected. There is impeccable harmony between the depth of their temporal dimension and the secret mark of their character, accomplished through the artist’s instinctive ability to 'recount while dreaming' in the words of Luigi Baldacci. For good reason, the painter declared herself very content with the arrangement. Their placement allowed viewers to appreciate the collection as a significant intellectual legacy; seen as a whole, it became a hallmark of the Contemporary Archive, which would later be named for its creator and founder [Alessandro Bonsanti]."

Text from G. Manghetti's essay 'For Adriana' in Pincherle and Pacini: Twentieth-century women painters in Florence (The Florentine Press, 2016).

Peaks of paint

Rossella Lari recounts the challenges of 'restoring Pincherle'.

Pincherle's painting in 'good company'

A studio photograph bears witness to Pincherle's high-profile relationships.

Making color and saving it

A 'snap' of the restoration studio's shelves fills even the veteran visitor with a sense of awe.