A Short History of the Magnani 1404 Paper Mill
The Magnani paper mill originated in 1404 in Italy, between Pisa and Florence. It is one of the oldest mills in Europe. Due to the presence of the very pure water of the river Pescia, the Magnani mill has settled in this ideal place. In fact, the quality of the water is fundamental to produce quality paper.
Magnani developed its activity over the years. In the 19th century, it had more than 150 vats refining paper pulp. It is important to know that all Magnani’s papers are manufactured in round shape.
The mill began to export its paper to the world from the 18th century. The European royal families, as well as Napoleon, appreciated it for its extraordinary quality. It is used in particular for the production of important documents and for their signature brand.
Today, the company aspires to be an important player in the paper production market.
For the record, famous painters have painted on these papers: Picasso, De Chirico, Guttuso, Annigoni, Guarneri, Morandi.
Different Types of Magnani Papers
Magnani’s catalog is very extensive. There is paper for drawing, watercolor, acrylic, fine art publishing, intaglio, etc… The fact that it is made in a round shape puts it at the level of the quality of Arches paper.
Arte Moderna Magnani Paper
Arte Moderna is a 300 g/m2 watercolor paper, 100% cellulose, fine grain and acid-free. It has a light ivory color. It is very resistant to the touch, even almost cardboard. In fact, it warps very little when wet. It is a very good choice for watercolor painting.
It absorbs water quite quickly and therefore dries quickly. It is a good paper for learning watercolor, for beginners as well as students. It can also be adapted to charcoal, pastel, and drawing.
Acquarello Italia Magnani Paper
This is my favorite paper from Magnani – Acquerello Italia. It’s a watercolor paper of 300g/m2, 100% cotton with double heart gluing with fine grain. It is ideal for the wet-on-wet technique and it is the closest to the Arches watercolor paper.
Its absorption capacity is slow. It stays wet on the surface for a very long time, allowing for an infinite number of color blends. They fuse very smoothly. It hardly curls when wet and is very resistant. I recommend trying it to those who want to find a cheaper alternative to Arches.
Acquarello Portofino Magnani Paper
This is a watercolor paper of 300 g/m2, 100% cotton, double sizing with a satin grain heart. It is actually the same pulp as Italia. Only the grain changes. It is, however, a little more absorbent than Italia and this is certainly due to the satin grain.
The sheet of paper is very resistant and hardly curls at all. In fact, it is very pleasant to work with. It is a good paper for watercolorists.
Velata Bianca Disegno Magnani Paper
Velata Bianca Disegno paper is 130g/m2, made of acid-free, natural-grained cellulose. It is suitable for drawing, sketching, charcoal, and soft pastel. I have tested the graphite pencil on this paper and the result is satisfactory.
The graphite impregnates the sheet well and you can make gradations without any problem.
I didn’t test all the papers in the Magnani catalog and there is still a lot of them. But so far, my conclusion is they are really high-quality paper and Magnani deserves the praise and pride it gets!