The Artwork of the Month - February 2024

Gino Severini
(Cortona, 1883 - Parigi, 1966)
Composizione, 1933
Mosaic, 61 x 86 cm
Inv. AM 1088

Gino Severini-Composizione

Composizione of the year 1933 is a mosaic by Gino Severini on the theme of still life: from Antiquity come some of the elements arranged on the table, such as the mask, the fish, the amphora, composed in solid balance with the crockery, the fruit, the doves, on the trapezoidal field of the shelf; in the background is an architectural fragment with a sequence of ogive windows, reminiscent of Venice. The mosaic tesserae - in stone or glass paste - turn the volumes now through tonal colour shadings now according to the principle of the simultaneous contrast of complementary colours, moving from the softest to the brightest chords.

The use of mosaic technique is an essential element of Severini's production, strongly influenced by the Roman, Byzantine and Ravenna traditions. The artist produced many small-scale mosaics, for easels, but he also declined them on a monumental scale, in large wall decorations, convinced of the need to combine art and craftsmanship. The mosaic, of which the preparatory cartoon exists in a private Venetian collection, was executed by the Salviati company of Venice.

The artwork belongs to the phase in which Severini overcame the Cubo-Futurist experience, pursuing his personal path du cubisme au classicisme with increasingly rigorous retrievals of the Italian Renaissance and compositional rules marked by a clear geometric-mathematical exactitude.

The artwork was purchased by the Governorato of Rome in 1935 for the Second Quadriennale, in the context of which a personal room with no less than 36 works was dedicated to Severini.

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