Emanuela Franchin


She lives and works in Vigonovo.

Her first steps in the world of painting were undertaken during a two-year course of drawing. Later she was to meet successful artists who were to introduce her to the world of art, and who shared with her the artistic expression she was developing. Her first master was Maurizio Piovan, from the Veneto area, who taught her about the use of colour. She then leaned much from Mario Salvo, from the Roman area but of international fame, who taught her what was to be a genuine and radical technical and stylistic change: the use of the palette-knife. She took her leave of the figures and still-lifes which had been her first ventures into painting, though without turning her back on her basic naturalistic layout which, in fact, she continued to cultivate as a result of the long and disciplined education in colour that she had received.

The palette knife, a key to her work, allows her to obtain spatial effects through layers of colour, light and subtle veils that, superimposed on each other...

...reveal the depth the painter was developing together with her different appreciation of light. The colours shine and are invested with infinite gradations, conferring beauty on the image: reds and greens in particular - which, as is known, Paolo Veronese favoured above all other colours - live together in a complicit exchange with soft and varied blues in a total system worthy of the most authentic Venetian tradition. Mario Salvo, an expert in the use of the palette knife, says of her: "Impalpable veils are opposed to modelled palette-knife strokes, full of strength and vigour, where the impasto of the material melds with the canvas to create a form. It is in this way that her works, generated by the fusion of many colours, pulsate with an intellectual experience through dark forms that intersect with a fractured light composed of a myriad hues and half-tints... making the work deeply emotional". Among her numerous important bibliographical references, mention should be made of the Catalogo dell'Arte Moderna published by Editoriale Giorgio Mondadori.

Chromatic Vibrations

I’ve always asserted and firmly believed that encounters in life never happen by chance. It was her marvellous strength of mind and love for Art which loudly called and led me towards her.

Born in a humble and honest family, Emanuela soon had to face her father’s averse character : tireless worker, he almost did not understand (and supported) her colourful perception of the world , believing her attitude to be foolish and elusive or, at least, not suitable to a woman who was not to waste her time and money .

Emanuela Franchin

Emanuela Franchin was born in Vogonovo, in the province of Venice, where she lives and works. She has a lengthy experience as an artist and has a healthy curriculum of critical essays and exhibitions. Among her innumerable experiences mention should be made of her adherence to Giulia Sillato’s “Metaformismo” which has allowed her great room for manoeuvring and interpreting forms, and for a freedom of gestures and fluidity in making marks. Emanuela Franchin’s strongly autonomous and personal expression began many years ago, first under the expert guidance of Maurizio Piovan, from the Veneto region, and then Mario Salvo from the Roman region but with an international fame, someone who helped her to deal with a genuine technical and stylistic change of direction; it was he who taught her to use the palette-knife and, later on, who introduced her to talented and established artists.

And so after a figurative start, one characterised by a mainly naturalistic interest, she then began to submit to the fascination of the historical avant-gardes and lyrical expressionism: the Informale movement above all. She thus began a deep technical-expressive metamorphosis, a period of extraordinary aesthetic-formal mutations involving colour, gestures, and materials. So hers is not, then, a descriptive kind of painting, one linked to a narration of reality, but is full of emotion concentrated on listening to intimate impulses, feelings, and sensations.


Critical Summary

... what is most striking about Emanuela Franchin’s expression is her technique, her way of proceeding and working, because she does not use traditional brushes but only and exclusively the palette-knife. By now for her the palette-knife has become one with her hand and wrist: it is a gentle tool that, in an almost automatic way, obeys her will, follows her thoughts, and traces out and interrupts paths and trajectories. With her palette-knife Emanuela Franchin applies her paint, moulds and models it, excavates, removes, and adds to it. This is how her paintings are born, swept with material, transparencies, and delicate veils of paint. This is the way her creations come about, works that at times leave behind the naturalistic/landscape themes to become more considered and self-contained, more intimate and psychological, by transforming themselves into genuine interior visions, emotive palpitations, into the mysterious and secret voices of the human soul. And then the paint, applied in great quantities in order to be modelled and moulded, also takes on a symbolic and significant aspect. It becomes a metaphor for life, for the slow and inexorable flow of time, and her palette-knife strokes penetrate the material to cause incisions, wounds, and trajectories that allude without a shadow of doubt to the mysterious and imponderable existential paths that mark the destiny of us all.


Luciano Carini

Piacenza, February 2016

Emanuela Franchin

In her incessant interior research, Emanuela has managed to build a solid and well- constructed chromatic basis, one that allows her to have fun ranging across her marvellous stratified colours and managing to generate unique works from miscellanies of materials and well-amalgamated colours. In UN NUOVO INIZIO and RICOMINCIO DA ME she has, in fact, arrived at a milestone in her highly personal art, an art which is no longer a descendent of but is by a Master! Structurally and mentally similar, even though quite different, are BREAK and AGGREGAZIONE where her research has been tough but constant, to the point of scratching the material’s skin to create interesting grooves and spaces into which she can pour herself. In PENSIERO LIQUIDO and ALCUNE IPOTESTI I also find amazing those veils of colour that are reminiscent of the Aurora Borealis, veils that reflect the new colours of Emanuela’s mind, ones imbued with the joy and satisfaction of finally seeing her restyling rounded off in such a majestic manner. As her teacher for the use of the palette-knife, I am proud and honoured to have contributed to shaping one of the most interesting and moving artists on the international cultural scene. Ad Majora... gentle Emanuela, continue in this way to amaze me again... always... With great affection and artistic respect.


Mario Salvo

Rome, December 2016

Emanuela Franchin

Emanuela Franchin learned the use of the palette knife from a Roman master, one quite well known both nationally and internationally. Of Venetian origins, she at once engaged with the landscape, as the noble Venetian tradition might have suggested to her, but a landscape with its natural lineaments transfigured by light and colour. Her skill with her means, acquired through tireless exercises, was purposely employed on her underlying inspiration, and it ended up displaying a total comprehension of light's structuring function; this she transposed into a pictorial dimension through the lightest and most transparent veils of colour: applied one on top of the other, they suggest depth. "Veils" of colours are not, though, a modern invention, having been introduced by one of the most enigmatic of Venetian Painters: Zorzi da Castelfranco, known as Giorgione, who lived in the fifteenth century. Later employed by Titian and Paolo Veronese, this technique was to remain a central column for good painting even, and above all, in our own times. It should be kept in mind that these past painters did not use a palette knife but a brush, and this is a detail that is anything but ignorable because the use of the palette knife makes it far more difficult to create those thin layers that are known as "glazing" or "veils".

Emanuela Franchin demonstrates, not only an excellent knowledge of the ancient and most refined art of painting, but also a technical ability that distinguishes her from other contemporary artists. This is because she has taken to heart the teaching of the past and adapted it to modern procedures for her own artistic vision, one that is increasingly modern and credible. The colours, in fact, glow and take on infinite, modulated gradations, thus conferring excellence on her images, as is inherent in her artistic heredity. Reds and greens, as is well known, were the favourite colours of Veronese, and they live together in reciprocal complicity, together with soft and variegated blues, in a tonal system worthy of the most authoritative painting tradition of all time: the Venetian one.


©2013 Giulia Sillato, art historian in the Longhi tradition

This work pinpoints the painter's impeccable Venetian sensitivity, one transmitted through her DNA to the palette where there is a place only for creamy and luminous colours. These, as in the painting reproduced her, have been obtained as a result of their particular gradation, an intermediate between red and orange, one that can exist only in the eyes of a Venetian: the light of Venice is responsible for those new transparencies that model the colours, matching them to the atmospheres suggested by the setting.

The artist, as has been said elsewhere, was the pupil of one of the greatest existing contemporary experts in the use of the palette knife, someone from whom she learned and made her own the technique of layering superimposed veils of colour, the strong point of the Roman master Mario Salvo. But this tool, applied to this fine example of Venetian painting, has reached surprising results by leading the eye of the observer towards spaces that are infinite, and unreachable... unless by the iridescent imagination of the person who conceived them.


Giulia Sillato,

CAM n. 48,  Ed. Mondadori 2012