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Testa di fanciullo

Luigi Broggini

Museo del Novecento

Museo del Novecento

Having arrived in Milan in 1925, Broggini studied under Adolfo Wildt at the Accademia di Brera, then leaving the city in 1929 for the obligatory trip to Paris. There, he studied the Impressionist, Rodin, Matisse and the Greek and Egyptian art to be seen in the Louvre - all influences that affected his own approach to figurative painting (at the time a mix of "novecentismo" and a late-"Scapigliatura" softness of modelling that was reminiscent of the plastic forms in the art of the late Medardo Rosso). His contact with the critic Edoardo Persico led him towards an idea of sculpture as a combination of the archaic and the "painterly," setting the modelling of form before architectural structure; concentrating upon effects of light and surface, Broggini often thereafter created polychrome works in such materials as gesso and terracotta. This striving to combine borrowings from the antique with the Impressionist focus upon effects of light and surface, Broggini often thereafter created polychrome works in such materials as gesso and terracotta. This striving to combine borrowings from the antique with the Impressionist focus upon the immediacy of contemporary life is particularly clear in this work, which might be taken as a manifesto. "A thirty-century-old adolescent or a member of the Fascist Youth Brigades of the thirties, this "Youth" brings together various poetics and worlds. You might see him as Egyptian, Etruscan or a fascist solider... or as some local street lad, whose oversized ears subvert the nobility of his face." The iinscription on the neck dates the pieces to 1932, but in his 1940 monograph Alfonso Gatto dates the work to 1935, when Broggini was in contact with the circle of artists associated with the Corrente. Renzo Modesti argues that Broggini actually began work on the piece in 1932 and then returned to it in later years. This would explain the fact that the work - in the polychrome gesso version now in a private collection - was exhibited for the first time only in 1937, at the "VIII Mostra sidacale lombarda," when the Civiche Raccolte acquired a version in bronze. A second bronze version, which remained in the artist's Milan studio right up to the seventies, is now in the collection of Giuseppe Iannaccone. [Mariella Milan]

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  • Title: Testa di fanciullo
  • Creator: Luigi Broggini
  • Date Created: 1932/1935
  • Physical Dimensions: 28 x 17 x 17 cm
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Medium: Bronze

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