Paintings from 1953 to 1964: the experimental years  
woman and nocturnal cityscape       Neon, 1954
people at the coffee shop   Coffee-house in Rapallo, 1954
news dealer girl in the kiosk       The news dealer, 1954
Jazz musicians       Jazz, 1956
still life with cup, bottle, pipe and oranges   Braquiana, 1958
room interior with pink glads
Lina’s birthday, 1957
  His return to Venice, in 1953, was not a break, but almost: it was a change of register. The two main reasons were probably: his re-immersion into the Venetian art scene, after his three year exile in Vittorio Veneto, with greater commitment and confidence than in the past; and his meeting and ever closer friendship with the critic Gigi Scarpa, an open-minded man, and a great "aficionado" of Picasso and abstract art.

With his early works Ernani participated in the current events which surrounded him, in the news, film and advertising. His works were paralleled by his emerging passion for the latest music, as well as his more secret and more intense love of Jazz and Bach, Mozart and Debussy, which were his main sources of inspiration. At the same time his contact with the most significant contemporary painters, from Kokoschka to Picasso and Braque, from Cézanne to Mondrian, did not lead to an easy imitation of fashion, but instead resulted in the originality of his absorption of ideas moving on.

The dualism between the superficiality, still fascinating nevertheless, of the expression of certain moments in public life during the economic boom, suggested to the artist a theme which made him search for emancipation from a certain “academy of the twentieth century ” in the development of a freer and more aggressive pictorial language.
The bar, 1953   charming people at the bar  
white dove in the ligth
Resurrection, 1958
  Ten years of close contact with the culture of imagery of that time were resolved in a more careful rather than enthusiastic adoption of leading methods, styles and language, but decisive personal factors are also apparent.

These derived from a background of literary, musical and religious exploration and discovery. These elements were confirmed in his paintings by certain signs of that tendency which contrasts with the painting process in itself, which still remains of great importance, the element of communication.

Fantasy touches every image so that things are no longer weighed down, rather they are positioned according to another law of gravity, not the usual one, a law which does not take into account the specific weight of the bodies and makes objects such as flowers, oranges, vases and even bread rolls on the table fly into the air. Figures have no weight either, often they are presented as apparitions, images frozen for a second in front of our eyes, before disappearing as if in a dream.

loaves and fishes on a table   The Loaves and Fishes, 1959
colour tubes, pots and church       Black-and-white still-life, 1962
coffee pot   Breakfast in the garden, 1963
Indolence, 1963- 64
girl lying down on sofa with vinyl albums and reord player
Japanese composition
  sugar bowl, magazines and plants            
  © Famiglia Costantini