Gino Severini

Cortona 1883 — Paris 1966

Gifted with a knack for combining the dictates of different codes of style, from his earliest days Gino Severini displayed rare skill in placing Italian avant-garde art into relationship with the research being done in Paris at the same time.

After a short period spent in Rome, he moved to Paris in 1906, where he frequented the French school’s elite: Picasso, Modigliani, Max Jacob, and Apollinaire, without ever losing his Italian contacts, to whom he owed, in fact, his part in the Futurism movement and of which he became one of the leading exponents and initial signatories of its 1910 Manifesto. He then became a major advocate of the classicist Return to Order movement popular throughout Europe from the 1920s.

Taking part in some of the shows of the Milan group of Novecento artists (1926 and 1929), he exhibited at the 1930 Venice Biennale. Moving to Rome during the 1930s, he began producing works of monumental size that were often commissioned by public authorities and made using mosaic, fresco or “grand decoration” techniques. As can be seen in the monumental fresco at the Foundation’s rooms in Ca’ Pesaro, he continued on this stylistic path also after the Second World War. The work stands complete thanks to the farsightedness, dedication, and generosity of Francesco Carraro, who had the fresco removed from the showroom of an auto dealer scheduled for demolition in the 1960s.