Cesare Breveglieri was born in Milan on 12 March 1902. As a young man he did numerous jobs (school teacher, office worker, travel agent) whilst always continuing to paint, and in 1928 he began to devote himself entirely to his art. From 1929 onwards he exhibited every year at the Lombardy Unions. In 1930 he was awarded a stipend from Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde which enabled him to embark on a study trip to Florence, Rome and Paris. From 1931 he was invited to the Rome Quadriennale and from 1932 the Venice Biennale, and continued to exhibit prolifically.
At the Brera Biennial he won the Fumagalli Award in 1934 and the Corporations Award in 1936. In 1935 he exhibited at the Italian Art Exhibition in Budapest. He participated in the fifth Milan Triennale with the Olimpiade fresco; in 1937 he was awarded the Lecco Landscape Award at the fourth Lecco Quinquennale. In 1939 he was awarded the Fornara Prize. He held solo exhibitions at the Galleria del Milione in 1938, 1943 and 1946.
In 1941 he was called-up to carry out military service in the health department. He was discharged in 1942 and in 1943 was awarded the National Fascist Party Prize.
On 22 March 1948, at the height of his artistic activity, he died prematurely of a serious illness. He continued to receive numerous acknowledgments even after his death and the XXIV Venice Biennale dedicated a wall to his work.
His collaboration with la Rinascente began in around 1937 when Breveglieri was already a well-known painter in Milan. The management of “La Famiglia Rinascente Upim” commissioned him to carry out a series of works regarding men’s and women’s fashion, of which a few sketches remain. In April 1941 he was called up for military service in the city of Bergamo and in May, in a letter sent to his wife, he wrote how he had rejected the job because his military situation prevented him from completing the work.
As well as these sketches, the selection presented here also includes a series of letters from la Rinascente that confirm the successful collaboration between the painter and the department store.