“Return to beauty”. Masterpieces of Italian art from between the wars
FEB.25.2017 ──────── JUN.04.2017
Ritratto di Renato Gualino [Portrait of Renato Gualino], 1923-1924 (detalle)
Istituto Matteucci, Viareggio
©Felice Casorati, VEGAP, Madrid, 2017
FEB.25.2017 ── JUN.04.2017
Recoletos Exhibition Hall
Paseo Recoletos 23, 28004 Madrid
This exhibition has been organized by Fundación MAPFRE and the Mart. Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto.
- Daniela Ferrari, curator at Mart, Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento Rovereto.
- Beatrice Avanzi, curator at Musée d’Orsay.
While looking for this beauty, not only did they revert to the subject matter and sense of composition used in antiquity and the Renaissance, they also included a sense of mystery, solemn gestures and an idyll with nature.
Their admiration of the past was, however, was no mere mimicry. On the contrary, painters like De Chirico, Carrá, Morandi, Casorati, Donghi and other contemporaries knew how to extract a renewed and imaginative interpretation from classicism with a high degree of modernity.
The Italian artists felt that this return to the traditional, known internationally as the Return to Order, would prove to be the infallible balm to sooth the devastation suffered and the absence of hope.
Influences: the artists took inspiration from the most admired eras and subject matter throughout the history of Italian art: Greco-Roman statuary of the 14th and 15th centuries. Giotto, Masaccio, Mantegna and della Francesca were its most influencial proponents. The work of some artists was also influenced by Picasso’s neoclassical period of the early 1920s.
Spiritual wellbeing: the search for timeless beauty, the language of core values and the poetry of serene meditation were recurrent themes in their work. The objective was to comfort the human spirit after the tragedy of war.
Valori Plastici: the magazine published under this name in Rome between 1918 and 1922 was the ideal communication tool for spreading the word about the pertinent ideas and to recover the value of the Italian pictorial tradition.
Novecento Italiano: this is the highest expression of the Return to Order in Italy. The choice of the >name, Novecento, was due to a desire to connect with the centuries that represented the Golden Age of Italian art, Trecento, Quattrocento and Cinquecento (14th, 15th and 16th centuries), and to point them towards a modern version of classicism.
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