On the occasion of Palazzo Strozzi's exhibition Americans in Florence. Sargent and the American Impressionists (see review in TF 159), Kevin Huizenga, a leading American comic artist and graphic novelist, has created a graphic novel, Alla Prima, based on the experience of the young American painters whose work is seen in the exhibition. This story within a story, the reader is taken on a tour of an exhibition by a fictitious American painter, Glenn Ganges (a mainstay of Huizenga's work), who comes to Florence to study art along with a group that strongly recalls the fun-loving students of Frank Duveneck (1848-1919), known as the Duveneck Boys. Set in the cosmopolitan world of Florence in the years after the unification of Italy, the graphic novel takes the reader into the boisterous world of these young artists as they discover new painting techniques and learn from the Old Masters.
Named after the Impressionist technique of painting ?wet on wet,' the novel will be first released for iPad, followed by Italian and English printed editions, by publisher Comma 22. The project was generously sponsored by two American patrons, Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem.