Between the Twenties and Thirties, the young masters were surrounded by indifference. No cultural understanding existed of the quality of modern art and only well-known painters were held in esteem. Moreover, public institutions, slow and uncertain in their purchases, were being replaced by private individuals, pure enthusiasts, art critic amateurs.
Rimoldi was one of these. His first purchases were directed towards traditional nineteenth-century Italian works, but soon, on both the walls of the tourist agency managed by him and in the Hotel Corona, the paintings appeared of artists who had been his guests.
These works tended to be customised: the painters were asked by the collector to execute, for instance, portraits or landscapes dear to him. Not all of them were inspired by the valley where they were staying, but they all lit it up with their own personal genius.
With the arrival of de Pisis, the merger of painting and Ampezzo landscape achieved perfection: the artist's talent was inspired by the distinctive features of the alpine wooden buildings, the fields, the firs and the bell tower. De Pisis, an international artist, but tied to the Veneto area through Cadore and Venice, became the big name of the Rimoldi collection and a link with the Paris artistic milieu.
Apart from the artists who went to Cortina however, the collector found a rich source of updating and information in the Venice Biennial. In 1941, the collection had already been substantially defined and was of considerable value. Centre pieces were the splendid works by de Pisis, Morandi, Semeghini. Together with works by Rosai, Campigli, Sironi, Garbari, Severini, Tosi and Guidi, the picture of pre-1940 Italian masters was far more complete than in most public galleries. This picture was further extended with the sculptures of Martini, Marini and Sironi. The painters of the post-Second World War period, including Vedova and Santomaso, became part of the group even before their fame had been acknowledged.
In the exhibition staged at Cortina in 1941, the packed list of Italian names is indicative of Rimold's choices. Of the thirty-two Italian artists, over half are from Veneto (Martini, Juti, Ravenna, Rossi) or tied to the Venetian school (Carena, de Pisis, Moggioli, Semeghini). De Pisis occupies a lead role, with works which, though centred on subjects stretching from Cortina to Rimini, also include Milan, Venice and Paris paintings. The pictures in the collection represent the best works produced in Italy in the years between the two wars and Veneto is, from this point of view, a stimulating observatory centred on the Italian art of that period.Second part