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Fascism and the Arts in Italy, 1922-1943 Institute of the Theory of Literature, Theatre and Audio-Visual Arts University of Lodz, Poland, 26.11.2010 Marja.

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Presentation on theme: "Fascism and the Arts in Italy, 1922-1943 Institute of the Theory of Literature, Theatre and Audio-Visual Arts University of Lodz, Poland, 26.11.2010 Marja."— Presentation transcript:

1 Fascism and the Arts in Italy, Institute of the Theory of Literature, Theatre and Audio-Visual Arts University of Lodz, Poland, Marja Härmänmaa, University of Helsinki, Finland

2 What Fascism? No ideological program Different ideological elements –Middle class –Nationalists –Radical elements (Futurism) Fascismi = ”stock exchange” Change in the 20 years Mussolini was in power

3 The chronology of Fascism democracy dictatorhip totalitarianism republic of Salò

4 1. Democracy ( ) Parliamentarism 1921 PNF was founded 1922 march on Rome 1922 Mussolini prime ministre 1924 murder of Giacomo Matteotti

5 2. Dictatorship ( /1936) Other political parties suppressed All the power to Fascism and to Mussolini 1925 Mussolini proclaims the beginning of dictatorship 1929 Lateran pact 1935 Italy attacks Ethiopia 1936 Empire

6 3. Totalitarianism (1929/ ) The ”fascistization” of people and its fully integration in the State 1936 Rome-Berlin – axis 1938 antisemitist laws 1939 Italy occupies Albania 1939 ”pact of steel” 1940 Italy joins the WWII 1943 Mussolini deposed from power

7 4. The Republic of Salò ( ) 1943 the republic of Salò is founded German initiative 1945 the partisans execute Mussolinin 1946 the republic of Italy is founded

8 The Question about Arts Organization of the cultural policy started when Mussolini became prime minister Question about the ”official Fascist art” rose when the dictatorship was proclaimed In order to get power in the artistic life, different persons wanted Fascism to have an official art

9 An opinion of a Futurist art critic Mino Somenzi, proclaimed in 1932 and in 1934 A totalitarian state “concentrated on the capacities and will of one single person” must be completed with “an artistic dictatorship.” If Fascism wants to control all aspects of the citizen’s life, it must leave its fingerprints on the arts, too.

10 Mussolini’s answer in 1923 ”It is far from me to encourage something that could be called the official art. Art belongs to the sphere of individualism. The State has only one duty: it must not sabotage art, it must create human conditions to the artists, encourage them artistically and nationally. […] I find it important to announce that the government of which I have the honour to be prime minister is a faithful friend of arts and artists.”

11 The Fascist Art Policy Never a strict art policy Never an official Fascist art No artistic current was never condemned –the ”degenerated art” in Nazi Germany ”Any art made in the Fascist Italy, was Fascist” –Artistic life was supposed to be varied

12 Art as a Mean of Political Propaganda Different artistic currents: –avant-garde, modernism, classicism, fascist realism… A function to represent different sides of the Fascist Italy Their popularity and position in the artistic life was the consequence of what the Fascists wanted to emphasize in a certain historical moment

13 Organization of Art Policy Ministry of Education 1925 Congress of Fascist Culture, in Bologna 1926 Artists’ trade unions 1930 Biennial of Venice under State’s control 1930 Quadriennial of Rome 1936 Ministry of Popular Culture (MinCulPop)

14 The Main currents of the Artistic Life Conservatives –Nationalists –Ugo Ojetti ”Opportunists” –Giuseppe Bottai –Margherita Grassini Sarfatti Modernists –Rationalists –Futurism

15 The Neo-Classicism of the end XIX century 1861 the foundation of the kingdom of Italy ”national style” Nationalists

16 The Palace of Justice in Rome ( ), Guglielmo Calderini

17 The monument of the king Vittorio Emanuelen II (1911), Pio Piacentini et al.

18 Margherita Grassini Sarfatti ( ) Jewish intellectual and art critic Mussolini’s lover during the 1920s Il Duce’s ghost writer Wanted to become the leader of the artistic life

19 Margherita Grassini Sarfatti ( )

20 Il Novecento (of Sarfatti) ”Modern classicism”: modernization of the national artistic tradition Heterogeneous group Achille Funi ( ) Mario Sironi ( )

21 Achille Funi: Maternità (Maternity, 1921)

22 Achille Funi: Sappho (1924)

23 Mario Sironi: Solitudine (Lonelyness, 1926)

24 Rationalism: Gruppo 7 Mies van der Rohe, Walter Gropius, funktionalism Aim: bring the Italian architecture on the international level In order to give an image of Italy as a modern, efficient country

25 The Exhibition of the 10th Anniversary of Fascist Revolution (Rome, 1932). Adalberto Libera, Mario De Renzi

26 Mario Sironi: Room Q

27 Mario Sironi: The Gallery of the Fasces

28 Mario De Renzi, Adalberto Libera, Terragni, Sironi, Prampolini et al., Room U

29 The Railway station in Florence: S. Maria Novella. Giovanni Michelucci et al. ( )

30 Santa Marian Novella ( )

31

32 Giuseppe Terragni: House of the Fascist Party, Como ( )

33 Fascist Realism Roberto Farinacci, Cremona ( ) The educational meaning of arts Simple and easy to understand Motives from the Fascist politics: –Glorofication of the countryside –Sports and the youth 1932 in Biennial of Venice Premio Cremona

34 Roberto Farinacci, ( )

35 Luciano Ricchetti: “In ascolto” (Listening to Mussolini’s speach, )

36 Cleto Luzzi: ”Pane nostro” (Our bread, 1940)

37 Giuseppe Guarneri: ”Aquilotti” (The Eagals, 1941)

38 Return to ”Rome”: second half of the 1930s Extreme right movements are founded in Europe The study of the antiquity becomes popular in Europe The Ancient Rome excellent publicity for Fascism’s aggressive foreign policy The need to emphasize the legacy between the ancient Rome and the contemporary Italy

39 The ”romanità” in the cultural policy The position of Latin was strengthened at school The study of the Antiquity was supported Carmine Gallone: Scipio Africanus, (The conqueror of Africa, 1937) “Romanità” in the arts

40 Mario Sironi: Justice between Law and Force (1936). Palace of Justice in Milan

41 The Exhibition to Commemorate Augustus (Rome, 1937)

42 Marcello Piacentini ( ): The Rectorate of the University of Rome ( )

43 The Universal Exhibition of Rome, E42 Also to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Fascist revolution And to present achievements of Fascism The variety of artistic and architectural styles Marcello Piacentini

44 Palazzo della civiltà – The Palace of the Italian Civilization

45 Palazzo dei congressi – The Palace of congress

46 Ss. Pietro e Paolo – the Church

47 An administrative building in the main square

48 Enrico Prampolini: Corporations

49 Fortunato Depero: Science and Arts

50 Adolfo Wildt: Dux (1924). Exhibited in the Biennial of Venice in 1924

51 Thayaht: Dux (1929). Rewarded in the Biennial in 1930

52 Fascism between past and future ”Italians, you must be convinced that the greatness of future will win the greatness of past!” »Mussolini’s words on the entrance of the exhibition of Augustus (1938)

53 Many thanks!


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