travellers on the Grand Tour to Sicily, know what to expect. Literature and landscape painting she had prepared, also biased, to the stock of memories was their viaticum: “With no words, the hazy clarity to Express that floated around the coast, as we drove on the most beautiful afternoons against Palermo,” noted Johann Wolfgang von Goethe on 3. April 1787, in the “Italian journey”.

Andrew Rossmann

editor in the features section.

F. A. Z.

“the purity of The Borders, the softness of it All, the soft Apart the tones, the harmony of sky, sea and earth. Anyone who has seen it, has it on his whole life.“ The art ennobled the perception and the reality itself. The next sentence of the poet, confirms it: “Now I understand the Claude Lorrains.”

The aesthetic value was reserved for the Stranger. The local artists couldn’t hide the light, they saw with their own eyes. The “Queen of the Islands” (Goethe) was not Arcadia.

A scenic rejection of the idealization of the South

As Antonino Leto, was born in 1844 in Monreale, in a young age for painting, decided, opened up new perspectives: the fashion of The Grand Tour doldrums, the Nation was in 1861 United, Sicily, where Garibaldi in the previous year had landed and the “train of Thousand” had begun went in the new Kingdom of Italy, and the emergence of photography insisted on realism.

the earliest painting in the exhibition “Antonino Leto – Tra l’epopea dei Florio e la luce di Capri” (Antonino Leto – Between the Florio-epic and the light of Capri), in the Galleria d’arte Moderna in Palermo, the idealization of the South, and the Patterns give the classic perfection of a cancellation: the barren rocks and the vegetation, landscapes, uprooted, storm-ruffled trees, shrubs, and cacti in front of grey moving sky, a shady-dark river-view.

life is rich in The simple deprivation of Giovanni Verga describes in his veristic tales of 1881, is here anticipated in the painting.


The Sicilians Leto has completed the Grand Tour in the opposite direction. The South may have provided the artists in education and the last cut missed, recognition, Reputation, and better education were acquired in the North. At the age of twenty years, the painter goes to Naples, where he studied with Giuseppe De Nittis, Marco De Gregorio and Federico Rossano, three representatives of the school of Resina, Portici.

Between Verism and impressionism

His representations of Nature are poetic, the colors more vivid, the shades of light, fine, houses, and forest stand peacefully and friendly in front of the dark grey Vesuvius. After six months, Leto illness returns due to Palermo, where he learns the Senator Ignazio Florio. The wine magnate, commissioned him with a view of his company’s headquarters in Marsala, an imposing castle-like complex on the coast, the sliding between the sea and sky.