Domenico Baccarini and Faenza’s Twentieth Century School

Domenico Baccarini’s grandiose triptych The Human Passions, which he began in Rome but never finished, can be considered his spiritual legacy. His knowledge of Ancient art and of Michelangelo’s paintings come together in a sharp, biting style that is almost Expressionist with strong references to Symbolism.

Baccarini also painted the Portrait of Giovanna, his sister, the Two Nudes, and the Self-portrait Wearing a Cassock, where the dramatic chiaroscuro and clothing seem to affirm the artist’s discomfort with regard to social norms. The liveliest and most creative members of the Cenacolo included Ercole Drei, Domenico Rambelli, and indirectly Lorenzo Viani, who worked with Rambelli on the Monument to the Fallen of World War I in Viareggio.
Viani’s Tempest depicts a mother who is poor but proud even in the face of adversity. Arturo Martini is another artist who worked in Faenza. His bronze, Il cavallino innamorato (The Pony in love), is a delicate example of Metaphysical sculpture. The Washerwoman, executed when he was shifting from sculpture to painting, is informed by the marble-like quality of the sheets and the sculptural power of the shapes.

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