Italian art historian and Professor of medieval and modern art at University of Turin and University of Milan; Scholar of Leonardo da Vinci.
Anna Maria Brizio was born in 1902 in Sale d’Alessandria, Italy. Brizio attended the University of Turin along with fellow Italian historian and art critic, Lionello Venturi. Brizio received her A.B. in 1923 from the University of Turin with a thesis on Defendente Ferrari da Chivasso, at the time she was still focused on the classical painters of the past. After graduation, she attended the Graduate School of Art History at the University of Rome, founded by Lionello Venturi’s father, Adolfo Venturi. Venturi and Brizio eventually collaborated to organize the first exhibition of the Gualino collection in the Regia Pinacoteca di Torino in the 1930s. They also participated in research to support the publication of Italian paintings in America. Brizio’s participation in the “Gualino exhibition” sparked her interest in contemporary art. She found it important to evaluate 19thcentury art with an understanding of the history that underlines contemporary art, especially noting the Impressionist movement, which few in Italy had done.
She then began focusing on Italian painters of the Renaissance, starting with Gaudenzio Ferrari, and then turning her focus to Paolo Veronese. Brizio furthered her connection with the Venturi’s when she became a collaborator for their magazine, L’Arte. She was the editor of L’Arte from 1930 to 1938. Once the Venturis’ moved away from their magazine, Brizio began her project for U.T.E.T., an Italian publishing company, which was Ottocento Novecento. It was the last volume of the universal history of art series published by U.T.E.T, but was the first to be published in the late 1930s. It was also considered part of a nationalistic approach that highlighted Italian painting in the 19th century. In 1939 she published one of her most famous works, Nineteenth and Twentieth Century. This book addressed the fascist regime. Starting in 1946, she taught History of medieval and modern art at the University of Turin. While she taught at Turin she directed the Galleria Sabauda (1936-1947), organized exhibitions, and collaborated with the UTET Great Encyclopedic Dictionary. Her contributions to the UTET are considered some of her most important contributions to 20th century historical-artistic studies. Later, Brizio began to focus on Leonardo da Vinci, culminating in the Selected Writings of Leonardo da Vinci in 1952. Brizio transferred to the University of Milan to be the chair of Medieval and Modern Art in 1957. She was also an important scholar of Leonardo da Vinci, also editing Leonardo da Vinci’s “Treaty of Painting.” During this time, she was urged to publish a second edition of her Ottocento Novecento, but she became more interested in abstract expressions and the relationship between art and human life. She retired in 1979 but remained as chair to the Corrente Foundation, which highlighted the period of time in art history when the Corrente Movement was developed. Brizio died August 1st, 1982 in Rapallo, Italy.
- For the fourth centenary of the birth of Paolo Caliari, known as Paolo Veronese. Notes for a critical definition of Paolo Veronese's style, L'arte. 1928;
- Vercelli. Roma: Libreria dello stato. 1935;
- The Catalog of Art and Antiquities of the city of Vercelli. 1935;
- Nineteenth century Twentieth century. 1939;
- Ottocento e Novecento, Torino, 1939;
- Bibliographic note of recent Italian studies on topics of Spanish and Italian-Spanish painting , in Italy and Spain. Essays on the historical, philosophical and artistic relations between the two civilizations , edited by the National Institute for cultural relations with foreign countries, Le Monnier, Florence. 1941;
- Painting in Piedmont from the Romanesque age to the sixteenth century. 1942;
- The Selected Lives of Giorgio Vasari. 1948;
- The Selected Writings of Leonardo da Vinci. 1952;
- Il Trattato della Pittura di L., in Scritti di Storia dell’Arte in onore di Lionello Venturi, Roma, 1956;
- Leonardo's Treatise on Painting , De Luca, Rome 1956
- [and Giovanni D’Enrico], in Atti e Memorie del Congresso di Varallo Sesia, Torino, 1960;
- [and Maria Vittoria Brugnoli, André Chastel, and Ladislao Reti.] Leonardo the artist. New York: McGraw-Hill. 1980;
- [and Reti, Ladislao, Emil M. Bührer, Augusto Marinoni, Maria Vittoria Brugnoli, Emanuel Winternitz, Ludwig H. Heydenreich, and Bern Dibner]. The unknown Leonardo. 1974;
- Brizio, Anna Maria. Giornata Di Studio in Ricordo Di Anna Maria Brizio, 1902-1982, Nel Centenario Della Nascita: Atti. Sale: Associazione ex Allievi/e Istituto Sacro Cuore, 2002.
- Leonardi, Miriam Giovanna. "Ottocento Novecento" Di Anna Maria Brizio. Varianti Critiche E Redazionali (1939-1944-1962)." Annali Della Scuola Normale Superiore Di Pisa. Classe Di Lettere E Filosofia 3, no. 2 (2011): 527-637; (article);
- Lodovici, Sergio. Storici, teorici e critici delle arti figurative : 1800-1940. - Rome: Tosi, 1942. - (Enciclopedia biografica e bibliografica italiana ; 4);
- Chi scrive : repertorio bio-bibliografico e per specializzazioni degli scrittori italiani. - 2. ed. aggiornata. - Milan: Ist. librario editoriale, 1962;
- Dizionario generale degli autori italiani contemporanei. - Florence : Vallecchi, 1974. - 2 v;
- Fra Rinascimento, manierismo e realtà: scritti di storia dell’arte in memoria di Anna Maria Brizio. - Florence: Giunti Barbèra, 1984;
- Dizionario biografico delle donne lombarde 568 - 1968. - Milan : Baldini & Gastoldi, 1995;
- Rosci, M. “Leonardo "filosofo". Lomazzo e Borghini 1584: due linee di tradizione dei pensieri e precetti di Leonardo sull'arte in Fra Rinascimento Manierismo e Realtà. Scritti di storia dell'arte in memoria di Anna Maria Brizio;”