Artwork of the Month - June 2023

Enrico Prampolini
(Modena 1894 – Roma 1956)
La Corrida, 1929-1930
Tempera on cardboard, 50 x 70 cm
Inv. AM 774

Enrico Prampolini - La Corrida

We already enter the atmosphere of the forthcoming exhibition on Enrico Prampolini with La corrida (The Bullfight), a tempera painting from 1929-30, in which the artist depicts a bull in the act of hurling himself at the red cloak waved by the bullfighter.

On the left of the scene, the banderillero peeps out from the red drape; he is wearing a black beret and has a watchful eye.

The right half of the painting is occupied by the majestic dark bulk of the bull in motion; its head, surmounted by long horns, is turned downwards, its expression furious and winking; its long tail is a broken line pointing upwards.

The scene is unified and enclosed within the elliptical curvature of the bullring, on which stands the small figure, further away, of a second bullfighter.

Even the floor, marked by a large blue area, unites the two protagonists of the action.

Prampolini presented La corrida (The Bullfight), together with two other canvases entitled Pesce rosso (Red Fish) and Pesce nero (Black Fish), on the occasion of the 1930 National Exhibition of the Animal in Art, held in the Zoological Garden. The painting, which can be dated to the years 1929-1930, belongs to the period in which Prampolini passed from the phase commonly defined as "mechanical" - characterised by strongly geometric forms of a Cubo-Futurist matrix - to that known as "cosmic idealism", in which he sought softer, more fluid solutions, both in the outlines and in the shaded colour masses.

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