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No Italian painter of this century has aroused so much comment, from eulogy to outright condemnation, as Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978). One of the initiators of surrealism, he is a key figure in modern art; his influence on later painters, particularly during his metaphysical period, is second only to Picasso's. De Chirico relied on imagery from the unconscious to create art with mythological, philosophical, and historical overtones.
This title offers the art of Italy during a pivotal and stimulating period. Italy in the 1930s, when Fascism was dominant, was the scene of an extremely vigorous artistic battle in which every style, from classicism to futurism, from expressionism to abstract, and from monumental art to decorative painting for the bourgeois home was involved. The situation was further complicated by the arrival on the scene of design and mass communication - posters, illustrated magazines, and more - which borrowed numerous ideas from the "fine" arts and broadcast them to a wider audience. It was this complex mix that introduced the concept of modernity to Italy. The exhibition on which this book is based explores the 1930s through the masterpieces of over forty leading artists of the period and 99 paintings, 17 sculptures, and 20 objects of design. They tell the story of a crucial era in Italy's history characterized by an extremely innovative arts scene.
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