Oil on canvas; 30 x 20 cm.
Italian painter. He received his first lessons in drawing in Alessandria, and in 1867 he traveled on a local study grant to Milan, where he was based for the rest of his life. He enrolled at the Accademia di Brera and from 1867 to 1876 studied drawing and painting there under Raffaele Casnedi and Giuseppe Bertini, whose influence is seen in both the subject-matter and technique of his early works. These include perspectival views, anecdotal genre scenes and history paintings. In the Dying Goethe (1880; Alessandria, Pin. Civ.) the theatrical setting, enriched by a sophisticated execution and a well-modulated use of color, derives from the teaching of Casnedi and Bertini, while the historic-romantic quality of this painting also recalls the style of Francesco Hayez. In the years that followed, Morbelli began to concentrate more on themes such as labor and the life of the poor, influenced perhaps by Realist painters of the 1880s such as Achille D'Orsi, Francesco Paolo Michetti and Teofilo Patini. Morbelli's Return to the Stable (1882) shows him progressively adopting a lighter palette with bluish shadows and rougher, more fragmented brushwork.