Texas Chapter

Futurist Painting: L’Allieva

This restoration was generously sponsored by Gary Tigges.

Artist: Mario Sironi
Date: 1924
Dimensions: 89,5 x 80,5 cm
Materials: Oil on canvas

Mario Sironi was one of the principle protagonists of the Italian artistic panorama of the 20th century in the Futurist movement. Futurism is an artistic and social movement that originated in Italy in the early 20th century. They admired all those elements that represented the technological triumph of humanity over nature: speed, technology, youth, automobiles, airplanes and the industrial city. They also tended to be passionate nationalists, and Sironi was no exception.

His subject matter largely focused on the figure and on themes related to the city and to its social and cultural adjustment that has dealt with adhering to the “Twentieth Century” movement and subsequent transformations and stylistic experimentation.

L’Allieva (The Student) is one of Sironi’s most noted and important works of his classical period. The artist painted this in 1924 and in the same year, exhibited it in the Biennale di Venizia (Venice Biennial) in a presentation of a group of “Twentieth Century” painters, formed in Milan in 1922.

The work evokes the interior questioning of the 20th century while also being a reflection on art and the monumentality of the female figure, inspired by the models of the Quattro-cinquecentesca tradition. The presence of other references to the classical world, such as the statue behind the woman, recall the “Return to order” desired by the fascist movement of Margherita Sarfatti. But Sironi differs from this mood of the 20th century and depicts a gloom and melancholic tone and atmosphere.

This painting belonged to collector Aldo Rondo, an entrepreneur in northern Italy whom, upon his death in 1996, decided to leave this painting as an inheritance to the Vatican Museums in his Will with the rich, refined collection of works by Italian artists of the 1900’s he gathered during his life.

Restoration Process Included:

  • Scientific investigation by the Diagnostic Laboratory
  • Photographic documentation before, during & after the intervention
  • Overall intervention of comprehensive restoration of materials
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