– Ilaria Clara Urciuoli –
The picture returned to us on the first floor of the Poor Clares Museum Complex in Grosseto is still today perhaps the most true picture of the Maremma through “Landscapes of Tuscany: from Fattori to the twentieth century”, An exhibition conceived by Carlo Sisi and curated by Emanuele Barletti, who will bring a selection of works belonging to the Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze Foundation to the Tuscan city until 4 September.
We find transported on the canvases by Fattori, Tommasi, Luigi and Francesco Gioli and others. the reality of a territory (that which Dante has “between Cecina and Corneto”) in the period between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, a somewhat “augmented” reality (today we would say spoiled or stunned by the use of certain technologies ), as it is enriched by the still discreet presence of socially and politically conscious painters. It is not only fields we see, but the resources of the future Italy that were then forming; the portrayed are not just workers, but citizens who carry joys and discomforts to which the new state must at least try to provide answers and opportunities.
These paintings, forerunners of the many recordings now dedicated to our territory, which as then remain magical in its often poetic openness, preserve a reality that is still partially alive at least in the landscapes that see alternately cultivated fields and scrub , scattered flocks and rivers teeming with work, mountain heights and quiet glimpses of small medieval villages almost dozing in the heat of the sun, captured by the painter.
Then as today, Maremma looks at itself and discovers in the centrality of a nature that becomes cultural recognition, its own deep identity and probably a vision of the future.
An exhibition that may not be brave, but which has the merit of bringing back to the public a painting with a strong impact, “Heroes of Maremma” by Paride Pascucci, a reminder, dramatically true in the details of poverty, to life and the last death.
The song about the identity (and myth) of the Maremma is combined with other works exploring the different landscapes of Tuscany sometimes remained intact, as in the case of “Piazzetta a Sesto di Moriano (or Ponte a Moriano)” by Adolfo Tommasi, others lost times. On the occasion of the presentation of the exhibition, we ask the curator a few questions, Emanuele Barletti.
Macchiaioli is confirmed to be very popular and it is not difficult in Tuscany to come across exhibitions dedicated to them, not to mention the Fattori Museum in Livorno. Why? What do these painters say today?
“Macchiaioli are part of the Tuscan artistic culture, although they were first rediscovered in the early twentieth century, and they are in any case closely linked to our tradition of color quality, and because they represent our local reality in such a visible way.We love them, we appreciate them and if possible we also try to have some at home so their prices are very very high.As a parallel we can say that the French look at his impressionist painting which the Tuscan looks at his Macchiaioli painting “.
It’s an identity discourse …
In this exhibition, we find Pascucci’s painting, “Heroes of the Maremma,” a condemnation of how much life costs in some more marginal realities; a few more days in the Salone dei Cinquecento in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence we can admire the “Fourth Estate” of Pellizza da Volpedo. My question then is about the artists and those who work in the role and responsibility of the art world to raise awareness of social issues even today.
“Some works exhibited here refer to what you say, others that could not be placed here are present in the catalog. The social theme of painting between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries was important: I am thinking in particular of the work of women and peasants, of the social unrest stemming from extremely worn-out jobs. Here in the Maremma, they also had to fight malaria. “Painting is certainly never an abstract fact, but it is always closely linked to various problems, especially the painting from this period, where artists focus on themes related to human activities, especially agricultural.”
A catalog was made with the exhibition. What is yet to be discovered about Macchiaioli, what are the fields of investigation?
“As in many areas of human knowledge, we never stop learning. A painting that may even have been published several times may be susceptible to further analysis and study, also because art historians often do not dwell on the topics but talk about the major themes. linked to movements, to currents without affecting the narrative of the painting. without explaining what a painting represents or what the artist wanted to represent. It seems obvious because they are figurative works, and instead this narrative is important because a scene also saves on many details ”.
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