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Tra Reale e Ideale: Novecento Italiano

04.04.24 - 10.05.24

"The Twentieth Century now aspires to a new, Italian synthesis of values coming from the North to the land of the ideal Mediterranean beauty. Every people impresses in its art the mark of its character, which persists in the changing of centuries. The Italian character expresses itself in the effort to subordinate individual natural data to the clear and firm construction of an ideal beauty."

(Margherita Sarfatti)

Melzi Fine Art is pleased to announce "Between Real and Ideal: Italian Novecento", an exhibition that will take place in our gallery, located at Via Bigli 11, Milan, from April 4 to May 10, 2024.

The Italian Twentieth Century was a period of profound social, political, and cultural transformations that shaped the face of art in our beloved country. From revolutionary movements to periods of reconstruction, artists responded with an artistic language that reflected the complex challenges of their time.

The artists featured in the exhibition "Tra Reale e Ideale: 1910-1940" navigated the tumultuous period of the early to mid-20th century, a time marked by profound social, political, and cultural upheavals, including the devastation of two world wars. Despite these challenges, they sought to explore and express the concept of ideal beauty amidst the harsh realities of their era.

Giorgio De Chirico, for instance, is renowned for his metaphysical paintings that evoke dreamlike landscapes and enigmatic architectural settings. His work often explores themes of time, memory, and existential uncertainty, reflecting the disquieting atmosphere of the interwar period.

Similarly, artists like Massimo Campigli and Mario Sironi were deeply engaged in the search for timeless and universal forms of beauty. Campigli's figurative paintings often feature stylized, elongated figures imbued with a sense of classical elegance, while Sironi's monumental works convey a sense of strength and solidity, rooted in the classical tradition yet responding to the modern world.

Giorgio Morandi, on the other hand, is celebrated for his serene still-life compositions, which demonstrate a meticulous attention to form, light, and shadow. Through his contemplative depictions of everyday objects, Morandi sought to capture the essence of beauty in simplicity and quietude, offering a refuge from the chaos of the world outside.

The futurist artists Giacomo Balla and Gino Severini embraced the dynamism and energy of the modern age, exploring movement and speed in their vibrant compositions. Their works reflect a fascination with technology and progress, yet also hint at the fragility of human existence amidst the rapid pace of change.

Carlo Carrà, Ottone Rosai, and Ardengo Soffici, meanwhile, were deeply influenced by the cultural heritage of Italy, drawing inspiration from the Renaissance masters and the Tuscan landscape. Their paintings often convey a sense of harmony and balance, rooted in a profound appreciation for the classical ideal.

Throughout the exhibition, viewers will encounter a rich tapestry of artistic responses to the tumultuous events of the early 20th century. From the haunting symbolism of De Chirico to the timeless beauty of Morandi's still lifes, these works invite us to contemplate the enduring quest for ideal beauty in a world fraught with uncertainty and conflict.

The exhibition will be accessible by appointment only. To book a visit, please write to

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