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A modern pilgrim.

Now weightless, distanced and freed from any earthly constraint, dissolved in a vast sky that envelops everything and encompasses everything within itself: this is Franco Beraldo's reality, the same reality that he evokes in his canvases and frescoes, which are an infinite song of an equally infinite nostalgia that is substantiated by continuous dreams, as in Ungaretti's verses that are so well matched:

I dreamed





of a


In veils


of azure gold


And all of Beraldo's painting is, in effect, the record of a long walk on a great blue plateau, in an air of dazzling, perennial noon, where everything congeals into a sort of timeless eternity. And when the walk has to be interrupted, because the earth is burning and the sun is pressing down, the painter chooses to take shelter for a moment and to write, with the privilege of distance, a story of solitude and silence, of abandoned landscapes into which man could hardly enter. It almost seems as if the painter's privilege is to recount what should actually be forgotten, and forgotten because never known.

And this almost oracular dimension of Franco Beraldo's art is combined with the magical cadence that is always reflected in his canvases and frescoes. One would think that within these Mediterranean places, within and beyond these looming skies, there is only room for a few secret inhabitants, and that the earth has moved elsewhere. Franco Beraldo's world is traversed by a ray of pure light, never contaminated by the feral nature of events. On the contrary, Beraldo's world is a mythical everyday life, locked in place once and for all and never changing.

So perhaps time no longer exists, or has never existed, if, as Lucretius wrote, "time does not exist for itself, but from events it draws meaning from the past present future. No one feels it removed from the motion of objects and their quiet stillness". Beraldo has created his own universe that originates from a reality that is absolute even before it has any semblance of it. The objective datum, that fascinating and integral motif of the Mediterranean coasts, is the starting point for an adventure that then develops into a long mental personalism, which, without stopping, winks at the happiness of the landscape, yet always maintaining, and almost by definition, a note of excruciating and painful purity.

And it is precisely in this that we sense the neo-fifteenth-century roots of Beraldo's painting, which in the formal reconstruction of the image, in the arithmetically cadenced scansion of the long sunny roads sloping down towards the sea, brings us closer to those same little roads that seem to be a rough Montalian itinerary. But it is then, and even more so, the windows open onto the solitary distant houses, the windowsills with their fruit bowls, that show us how an entire heritage of immemorial silences has sedimented in an exemplary manner.

It is not by chance, in fact, that from Pierfrancesco's Quattrocento, according to Paolo Rizzi's exact critical indication, we pass to a sort of neo-metaphysics, which does not have, however, the absolute dechirican crystallization, and which finds instead a possible mediation in Virgilio Guidi's wide lagoon views. Within this intense signal, Beraldo places his disposition to welcome the atmospheres of twentieth-century painting, especially Giorgio Morandi, who is present as a tutelary deity in many of the sequences of this uninterrupted journey. And it is then precisely here that his originality comes into play, in shattering the pattern of this cultured painting to insert, instead, a note of touching nostalgia that lights up the dream of distance.

Marco Goldin Rome 1995


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