Curated by: Matteo Fochessati, Gianni Franzone
Michelangelo Buonarroti's sculpture and graphics have represented, as is well known, a fundamental source of inspiration for many Italian artists of the twentieth century, including Adolfo De Carolis who was the main illustrator of D'Annunzio's works. The exhibition, collateral to the Michelangelo exhibition. Divine artist in progress at Palazzo Ducale, opens with a cartoon by De Carolis dedicated to the work of mines and characterized, in the emphatic depiction of the vigorous bodies of excavators, by Michelangelo's inflections, widespread in Italy at the time through the lesson of Auguste Rodin .
Work, woman, propaganda: the exhibition revolves around three variations of the theme of the body.
The body of work and the contrast between a symbolic and celebratory vision and a more realistic representation of the physical effort and hard conditions of the workers.
If the hardness of the world of work appears embodied by the painful figure of the peasant painted by Ugo Martelli or by the plastic table lamp depicting a worker pushing a block of marble, the allegorical representation of the theme is an expression of that myth of progress which, at the beginning of the twentieth century, it was affirmed within the transition from manual to mechanical-industrial production: an iconographic motif emblematically exemplified by Plinio Nomellini's manifesto for the socialist newspaper “Il Lavoro” or by the sculpture Woman with a turbine by Alberto Giacomasso.
Equally articulated appears, in the same years, the image of the woman's body who - the protagonist of a process of emancipation that is crucial for the transformation of her social role - was the subject of an opposing representation, between legacies of tradition and disruptive transformations imposed by modernity.
The centrality of the role of the woman as a mother is highlighted in the sculptural group Maternità by Raffaello Consortini (1934) and in the Self-portrait of the painter with the family by Giorgio Matteo Aicardi (1939), while the opposite image of a modern, emancipated and sophisticated woman , is found in much of the painting and sculpture of the time, but above all, as documented by the posters of Filippo Romoli, in advertising graphics and tourism promotion.