1946-1953: Return from the war and the search for an identity  
man face       Portrait of L. Cillo, 1950
portrait of the wife sitting       Lina, 1950
  still life with oil lamp florentine and shell
Autumn, 1951
  In 1946, once the nightmare of war was over, the long process of reconstruction began. Ernani first found employment at Scalera Film (then at Giudecca) as a 'manual painter' and later went to work at the hydrographic office of the Venice Water Board as a technical artist. Initially, his pictorial output fluctuated, reflecting a certain cultural ‘uncertainty' typical of the venetian art scene of the nineteen forties. The teachings of his masters were evident: one (Ercole Sibellato) tending towards a symbolism with its floral ancestry in Vienna and Munich; the other (Mario Disertori) leaning towards a highly structured impressionism. On the one hand the experiences he had observed were uppermost: the illustrious examples of a twentieth century style full of Mediterranean classicism, as well as the plasticism of Funi, Sironi, and Carena. He was particularly attracted by the work of Felice Carena and would later attend his studio during the master's stay in Venice. The teachings of Giulio Lorenzetti who had made him 'adore' the Renaissance, especially the Tuscan Renaissance, are also apparent.  
cityscape of venice
Venice, Scuola vecchia della Misericordia, 1952/53
  The Venice Bienniale of 1948 was a real revelation for him: he saw the impressionists, Turner and Goya, and also discovered Kokoschka; he saw Picasso straight away, and subsequently Braque, Matisse, Chagall, and Rouault. He resumed painting with vigour. Carena encouraged him.
In 1950 he got married after passing the selection for the position of art teacher. His new professional stability made him want to devote himself more deeply to painting. The teaching post allocated to him was in Vittorio Veneto, where he remained from 1950 to 1953 and where (in 1952) he would hold his first personal exhibition at the Hotel Terme. We are at a turning point: a true turning point in the life of Ernani.

  the bishop castle on the hill seen from Ceneda village   San Martino Hill, 1950
    mother breastfeeding child       Serene motherhood, 1951
    still life with apples   Apples cascade, 1953            
  © Famiglia Costantini