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Paintings and annotations drawn from the book "Velieri di Camogli" published by Tormena Publisher, Genoa 1992, Author Farida Simonetti, Camogli  

We are glad to introduce at Your attention a nucleus of former votive offerings of the XIX Century: a homogenous group of works, extremely rich testimony of the glorious age of sail when Camogli was defined "the city of the thousand white sailships". 

The ties between the votive offerings and the history of the camogliese navy goes together with the devotion for the Holy Virgin by the sailors, and the votive offerings guarded in the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Boschetto are all of camogliese provenance. 

From the paintings and from the explicative captions written by the donor of the votive offerings we are able to obtain a lot of informations about the boats: bombards, schooners, brigs, best barks, pole brigs; about the captains and shipowners, or the routes and the attained ports and on the traffics they traded for the whole 1800's.

Obvious is the executive quality of these works: the greater part is signed by professional painters and they have nothing of the na´f character typical of this kind of devtional paintings. 

The more consisting nucleus was painted by Domenico Gavarrone whose exceptional fidelity reproduction of the hull sails details suggests that it has been formed as ship designer and his technical acquaintance has a real professional style. 

Analogous fidelity of reproduction we find in the works of Angelo Arpe, even if he rendered greater effective attention for the heavy sea. 

However for both painters the true protagonist of the painting is always only the ship while the man, also when he feels itself miraculously escaped from the danger for wich he wants to offer a votive painting to the Madonna, is relegated decidedly in a secondary role. 

Other consisting group of works belongs to Giovanni Canetta of which only a votive painting is signed, but whose decidedly painting personality distinguish its acquarelli much more than if they were signed. 

Guaranteed by a skillful restoration and conservation, recovered the possibility of one proper reading, the votive paintings can continue to conserve for the camogliesi the testimony of a determining moment of their history and to tell to all the faith, the courage and the culture of a society based on the sea.

Due to the difficulty to admire the paintings live, we have increased the size (and weight), hoping that a longer waiting for their download will be greatly rewarded by a better view of the almost life-size paintings.

                                                                                                                                    Marcello Bozzo

Have a good navigation !

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