It is the key work of the museum: it welcomes the visitor in the center of the courtyard and the tour itinerary develops around it. The work was exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 1962 and contains the aesthetic and expressive power characteristic of the period of Existential Realism experienced by Floriano Bodini at a young age.
The sculpture consists of two figures: one lifeless lying supine on the legs of another kneeling who expresses all her pain through the tension of her arm towards the sky and her face deformed in a scream. It is a work that demonstrates Bodini's ability to enter the deepest soul of Man and make the deepest and ineffable feelings visible and concrete.
It is a bust representing Floriano Bodini's father, Toni. The son's gaze investigates his external and internal appearance at the same time, through the revelation of some anatomical details, even internal to the human body itself, described as impeccable and elegant clothing with accessories such as a watch and tie. Even his posture and gaze convey a lot of the rigorous, decisive and proud personality of Floriano's father. There is also an affectionate element, a childhood memory for the sculptor: on Toni's arm rests Nacchia, the crow that was "at home" for the Bodini family, very fond of both Floriano and his parents.
It is a sculpture that does not tell a precise war episode (even if Bodini lived the Second World War in first person as a child) but stands as a symbolic, universal work, as a metaphor for the war that unfortunately does not take place and does not have time.
The subjects that compose it are in fact anonymous soldiers with weapons, alongside men, women and children: all, without distinction and without particular characterization, are depicted in the drama generated by the war. Somehow they all appear to be victims of this violent and inhumane act.
The three preparatory plaster sculptures in the museum are part of the bronze complex of the Seven of Gottingen, now located in the Square of the Seven of Gottingen in Hanover (once the Parliament square of Lower Saxony).
Bodini's work, put into operation in 1998, was the winner among 26 international proposals presented in the competition organized by the city. The monument is the result of a careful and accurate research that led the artist to investigate the historical details of an event that took place in 1837 at the University of Gottingen: seven professors rebelled against the imposition by King Ernst August Hannover to modify the constitution without any popular consultation. In portraying the professors inside the sculpture Bodini is inspired by people close to him: for example the Brothers Grimm, among the seven professors, are personified by Floriano himself and his brother Arturo, or the witness student who attends the event presents the traits of the young artist student Renato Galbusera.
The monument, which consists of a large half-open door crossed by the seven professors, the king on horseback and a university student, has even greater dimensions than the natural one. The protagonists are in dialogue with passers-by and the door itself which, half open, invites people to perform the same gesture as the sculptures and somehow take part in national history.
The sculpture depicts Pope Paul VI, to whom Bodini had dedicated the famous version in pine wood two years earlier, now preserved in the Vatican Museums in Rome in the contemporary artists section. Paul VI is known for being the "pope of artists", especially in difficult years, around 1968 with conflicting and delicate relations between the Church and the political and social world.
The figure of Pope Montini was able to intrigue the sculptor to the point that he dedicated several monumental works to him. The relationship was one of esteem and familiarity also thanks to the common friendship with Mons. Pasquale Macchi. In this bronze Bodini depicts the pontiff with a rapid characterization in the physiognomy of the face (less intense than the wooden version) and with his hands reaching out beyond the rigid papal habit, in a gesture that can suggest welcome, closeness and blessing.
Other works on display