ISSN 2612-2553

ABSTRACTS

ETTORE SESSA – SALVATORE CARONIA ROBERTI E LA DECLINAZIONE MODERNA DELLA CLASSICITÀ NELL’ARREDAMENTO E NELLE ARTI DECORATIVE

The design production of Salvatore Caronia Roberti (Palermo 1887 - 1970) in the field of furnishings and decorative arts is still little investigated today; this despite the fact that Caronia Roberti has long been considered the most authoritative exponent in Sicily of the so-called “School of Basile”. From the beginning of the Thirties, Caronia’s academic vocation assumes more and more complex values, avoiding what generically traditionalist had guided her emancipation from the modernist “manner”. The difficult synthesis between the desire to achieve unitary forms with austere plastic solidity, the underlying aspiration to an architecture of a higher cultural level and, ultimately, the composite ethosmonumentalist, who manifested himself with full control and determination in the 1930s, would also characterize all of his subsequent design production up to the 1960s. The ideal of “new classicism” pursued by Caronia Roberti (and theorized in her volume Introduction to the study of Architectural Composition, published in Palermo only in 1949) assumes, in its best applications, the value of the ordering parameter of a design logic aimed at perfect balance between the whole and the individual components, both on a formal and functional level. His creations of furniture and interior arrangements cover a time span that goes from late modernism, to Déco, to the twentieth century; but it was only in the Thirties that his collaborative relationships with artists and companies in the Decorative Arts sector took on particular connotations, also attributable to his maturation of an original design line marked by perceptive instances that reform his classicist vocation.

MATTEO PICCIONI – “DISEGNI LINEARI, A CONTORNI, COME NEL POLIFILO”: LE DECORAZIONI DI ADOLFO DE CAROLIS PER LA FRANCESCA DA RIMINI DI GABRIELE D’ANNUNZIO E LA RINASCITA DEL LIBRO D’ARTE IN ITALIA

The essay deals with Adolfo De Carolis’ illustrations for Gabriele D’Annunzio’s tragedy Francesca da Rimini (1902). The first collaboration between the poet and the artist is the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership and represents one of the first Italian experiments of “Libro d’arte” (artistic book) as forerunner of the twentieth-century “Libro d’artista” (artist book). It is an exceptional edition, destined for a few lucky owners, a sui generis work of decorative art and a place of linguistic, iconographic, and iconological experimentation. At a closer look, the volume is actually an object destined to a real campaign of commercial promotion of D’Annunzio’s theatrical opera and of his person indeed, perhaps one of the first examples of what today on call “merchandising”. From a stylistic point of view, the book reveals the peculiarities of De Carolis’ language, based on a synthesis of English Arts and Crafts, Italian artistic tradition, and the study of the most famous of Renaissance incunabula, the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili (1499). It is precisely this attention to the past and to history that brings De Carolis to a position far removed from the European art nouveau in which historiography often places this decorative work and its author.

CLAUDIA ANDREOTTA – ARTE E INDUSTRIA NELLA SCULTURA FUNERARIA TRA OTTOCENTO E NOVECENTO: IL CIMITERO GENOVESE DI STAGLIENO

Staglieno Cemetery (Genoa) represents an emblematic case of the relationship between arts and industry at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. According to a positivist point of view, industrial production becomes the means for a global intervention project concerning the reality from the building to furnishing. Applied arts take on a primary role and enjoy an extremely fortunate moment regarding quantity, quality and creativity of production. The dress of funerary furnishings is no exception: this is evident in the Genoese necropolis where the large number of artefacts still preserved and each of them different by type (lamp holder, crowns, vases...) and material (metal, marble, ceramic..) testifies the continuous evolution of the taste of the current time.

ANTONIO DAVID FIORE – IL MOSAICO IN ITALIA NEL PERIODO TRA LE DUE GUERRE: LA COMMITTENZA PUBBLICA

This essay proposes a non-chronological itinerary of the most significant mosaic creations in the context of public commissions in Italy during the interwar period; the main issues discussed are: the reasons why the mosaic was once again considered ‘significant’; its interpretation and methods of application; the relationship between artists and artisans, and between the former and the dominant ideology.

ALESSANDRA VACCARI – MODA E QUEER NEI FIORI ALL’OCCHIELLO DI FILIPPO DE PISIS

This article addresses the role paid by buttonhole flowers in the men’s attire in 1910-1930s Italy. It investigates how flowers have been worn and how they negotiated gender roles in a perspective that combines eco-criticism, history of art, history of fashion and queer theory. The different range of cultural meanings that the boutonnière embodied is explored through the emblematic figure of Italian aesthete, writer, and painter Filippo de Pisis (1896- 1956) and his considerations on the art of wearing flowers. This article investigates de Pisis’ aesthetic and political interests regarding flowers, in the cultural climate of a period in which fascism rose to power in Italy. Flowers, fashion, and elegance provided a destabilising response to the fascist aestheticisation of politics, as de Pisis helps to highlight.

ANTONELLA CAPITANIO – MARIO FAVILLA: UN ARGENTIERE LUCCHESE CON UNO SGUARDO STORICO

A notebook with dates ranging from 1923 to 1937 gives evidence of the historical attention by the lucchese silversmith Mario Favilla (1899-1959), who took notes and drawings of the guarantee marks that he found impressed on ancient silverware entrusted to him for cleaning or restoration: a type of attention not widespread in Italy at the time, which allows to know the author of objects, in some cases now even lost.

GIORGIO LEVI – UNA NOTA SU UN MOBILE INEDITO DI ALFIO FALLICA

The note presents an important déco piece of furniture by Alfio Fallica, hitherto unpublished, exhibited, together with other known pieces of furniture, at the Triennale di Monza in 1930. The documentation of unpublished works by Fallica is completed by the images of a small ivory cube, with inlays of tortoiseshell, mother of pearl and ebony.

BRUNA NICCOLI – ARTISTI PER IL PALCOSCENICO DEL NOVECENTO. ICONICI COSTUMI DI SARTORIA TEATRALE ITALIANA

Artists for the stage of the twentieth century. Iconic Italian theatrical tailoring costumes. This article discusses some of the ways in which the Art of Costume has designed and produced technically quality artifacts creating spectacular costumes by Cerratelli tailoring in Florence (1914-1995). Since 2005 there has been a collaboration with the University of Pisa in the cataloguing of the costume collection of the Cerratelli Foundation (Pugnano, San Giuliano Teme, Pisa), particularly on themes related to historic costumes for lyric or cinema, costumes for ballet and inventive costumes for theatre. Cerratelli Foundation can boast intense years of activity marked by some important exhibitions (2005-2021), but above all by profitable research activity conducted in collaboration with the Department of Civilization and Forms of Knowledge of Pisa University. As a result, a rich selection of costumes, is available on the portal Europeana Fashion, of which the Foundation is a partner. From this fantastic archive of Italian cultural heritage, is offered a selection on costumes painted by some excellent Italian Artists of the twentieth century. Aldo Calvo (1906-1991) creates an imposing costume for Magic Flute (1940) and the character of the Queen of the night, which is an example of pictorial decoration and colors the feathers of a bright red to identify the ambivalent spirituality of Papageno, that a bodice of blue-blue feathers makes man-bird, while a lively chromatic fantasy dresses his Papagena. Luciano Damiani (1923-2007) for the Abduction from the Serraglio of Mozart’s (art director Giorgio Strehler, 1965) plays on the fabrics of the costumes with light effects that make school and turns performers into silhouette. Renato Guttuso (1912-1987) and Mino Maccari (1919-1989) bring their own artistic vein working at the festival of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, in whose archives are kept the figurines of the colorful and original costumes: Guttuso La giara (ballet, 1957); Maccari Il naso (1964) and Falstaff (1970), both directed by Eduardo De Filippo. The work of these artists has marked the history of the Italian theatrical costume. In contrast to the pictorial tradition are the experiments of the seventies, a decade characterized by the use of new materials and bold shapes as great illustrate the costumes of Corrado Cagli (1910-1976) for lyric and Maria Antonietta Gambaro (1929-1981) for ballet. In the same years Cerratelli workshop realizes tailoring perfection costumes and choice of high quality materials from the sketch of Anna Anni (1926-2011), demonstrating the coverage of trends. A dense core of costumes was designed and created by Emanuele Luzzati (1921-2007) to whom we could not fail to pay homage in the year of its centenary: the artisan of the theatre, as he liked to define himself, commissioned about 800 costumes to Cerratelli tailoring for lyric (Gioacchino Rossini and Wolfang Amadeus Mozart) and ballet (Igor Stravinskij). The style of Luzzati is imposed in the use of painted and printed fabrics, in the models of the costumes that with great attention reproduce his colorful figurines, real characters of the show.

ANNA MARIA RUTA – ANTICHE, PICCOLE, MA PREZIOSE FABBRICHE DI SICILIA

The paper traces the history of two small but significant Sicilian ceramic factories, active in the last century, producing some valuable artefacts, now hard to find: the Coniglione and the Vella. Some well-known artists worked in them, who signed plates, vases and other artifacts with icons referable to their major works. Caltagirone, one of the best known Sicilian ceramic centers, Catania were the places of production. The research on Coniglione also revealed some interesting ceramics, the model of which is to be attributed to the futurist Pippo Rizzo. Today it remains only to regret its disappearance.

Teresita Scalco – Paolo De Poli e Pietro Melandri. Corrispondenze di vita e smalti

This paper intends to reveal through the correspondence between the Italian artisans Paolo De Poli and Pietro Melandri, ceramic and enamel masters, the intertwining of evolutions and their artistic contaminations. The unpublished letters express their mutual professional esteem, their artistic admiration, the exchange of materials, advices and shared values. In particular, both of them after World War II were active players in the enhancement and defense of Italian artistic craftsmanship.

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Registrazione al Tribunale di Milano n. 221 del 25/07/2018