He is the figurehead of Maloja - the painter Giovanni Segantini. Born in Arco in 1858, he first moved to Milan at the age of 28, and later lived for several years in Savognin, where many of his most important works were created. In 1894 the family moved to Maloja, where Segantini's descendants still live today.
In Maloja, the family moved into the "Chalet Kuoni," a spacious chalet in the middle of the village built by the engineer of the Gotthard Railway Company Alexander Kuoni from Chur. From 1896 Segantini worked in Maloja in summer and in Soglio in Bergell in winter. Here he created, among other things, high mountain landscapes in a painting technique related to Neo-Impressionism. Best known is the grandiose alpine triptych Becoming - Being - Passing away (La vita - La natura - La morte), consisting of the parts: Life, Nature, and Death. It originated from Segantini's idea to build a pavilion for the 1900 Paris World's Fair and to exhibit a panorama of the Engadin mountains in it. For financial reasons, the project failed but the idea of the panorama gave rise to today's triptych. "Life" was created from 1896 to 1899 near Soglio, "Nature" from 1897 to 1899 on the Schafberg above Pontresina, and "Death" from 1896 to 1899 near the Maloja Pass in the direction of Bergell. The triptych hangs in the Segantini Museum in St. Moritz.
The round building behind the Segantini House, on the way to the Belvedere lookout tower, is a 1:10 scale model of the planned pavilion at the Paris World's Fair. The studio can be visited every weekend from 16:00-18:00. Private tours of the studio and the family residence are also available upon request.
You can learn more about Segantini on the Sentiero Segantini. A two-hour walk takes you to 12 stations associated with the painter. Among them are the Chiesa Bianca, where Segantini was laid out after his death, and the family tomb in the cemetery where the artist is buried. He died in 1899 on Sheep Mountain. Display boards provide information about the life and work of the artist.
If you want to dive into the life of Giovanni Segantini in the form of a novel, the work of Astra Scheid "Das Schönste was ich sah" is recommended. It is best to read it when you are in Maloja - the text seems to come alive when enjoyed in the local settings.