Illustrious Italian painter living in one of his villas in Moncalieri near Turin, he was born in 1826 in Busseto, the homeland of Giuseppe Verdi, his father was a district commissioner, a sort of sub-prefect. Driven by the love of art, he entered the Academy of Parma as a young man. In 1852 he exhibited a series of thirty drawings representing various castles in central Italy. Shortly after we find him in Paris intent on studying with Ciseri, the father of the set designer, and opening up new horizons.
It was his luck that, during the time of the Crimean war, he knew the diplomat Bourrée appointed by the French government to carry out a mission in Persia; he obtained to be able to follow him, and, in this way, visiting Egypt, the Red Sea, Arabia, Persia, he took inspiration from the East and became, in our time, perhaps the first among the so-called orientalist painters. In Persia he stayed a long time, well accepted by the present sovereign, who wanted to learn from him how to paint.
Pasini passed from Persia to Constantinople, where he then returned for a long time in 1862, and painted a first picture representing a victory of Turks for Sultan Abdul Mezid, who was very satisfied and then gave him several other commissions. Among the many, his first oriental-themed paintings exhibited in Paris aroused the admiration of artists and the public; they were praised by critics, bought like hot cakes, rewarded.
“His Orient is all alive and even in his most minute details Pasini, writes Folchetto, has a palette that is robust like him, a solid and picturesque mixture at the same time, and a rare instinct for harmony and contrast. of colors. Hence, with simple means, with an enviable sobriety of colors, he arrives at profound effects.
A holy man at the door of a bare pale wall of a mosque, and the picture is done, and it transports you to Baghdad or Erzerum. The bluish porcelain that covers the oriental buildings seems to touch them. His Orient is not only a coldly faithful thing; he animates it with the scenes of which he was a spectator; which he was able to reconstruct, always with the same exactness in costumes, colors, figurines, and then painted the horses with masterful art.
His “Attack by Druze of a Maronite village”, his “Falcon hunting” in the plains of Ispahan, his “Markets of Constantinople” all works by now famous, make us understand how he knows how to fix the multicolored crowds on the canvas, photograph the action. The paintings of this kind that he produced are innumerable and scattered here and there around the world, and as far as I know, in Italy there is only one, “The stage of the Caravan”, which can be found in the Museum of Parma “. For some years now, after a trip to Venice, the ‘Orientalist’ painter has also become ‘Venetian’.
The quaint city par excellence, struck him, seduced him. His paintings of Venetian subjects are now very numerous; we especially remember those representing the “Ponte dei Santi Apostoli”, the “Traghetto del Casson” and the “Rio Marin”. Alberto Pasini received several decorations; but his most beautiful title is that of having, in the last twenty years, with his paintings asserted Italian art in Paris.
Let us now mention some paintings by this artist all worthy of admiration, which are: “Canal Grande”; “San Tomà ferry”; “Venice from Giudecca”; “Palazzo Grimani”; “Rio San Severo”; “Rio a Santa Maria Formosa”; “Palazzi Rezzonico, Foscari and Balbi”; “Door of a bazaar”; “Panorama of the Sierra Nevada”; “Door of wine” (Alhambra); “Door of the hall of the two sisters” (Alhambra); “Interior of the Alhambra mosque”; “Door of a mosque and palace of the Generaliffe”; “Door of an old arsenal”; “Monday market in the mosque square in Constantinople”; “Horses grazing in Syria”; “Courtyard of an old joly”; “The Sentinel”; “Le relayette” (Asia Minor); “Group of irregular knights at the door of a mosque”; “Courtyard of the Lions in Grenade”; “Group of houses in the Rubatto Yesel Giani”; “An arch of the facade of San Marco”; “Gate of the Moriari Palace”; “Health”.