The work was acquired in 1929 “in memory of Old Milan” – as indicated in the archival document – from the Galleria Pesaro in Milan on the occasion of the exhibition devoted to Michele Cascella and his father Basilio. Entrance to Portello depicts the Cascina Portello gate on the edge of the farming village of the same name on the northern outskirts of Milan, which were drastically transformed by the expansion of the Alfa Romeo plant. Cascella had moved to Milan in 1924, and in depicting this scene he focuses on the barefoot children, the chickens and the statue of the Holy Virgin, all of which represented the peasant and Catholic roots of the local inhabitants. His stance is the exact opposite of Mario Sironi’s in his depictions of working-class neighbourhoods. Cascella’s intention was to represent what remained rather than what was changing, and he did not seem interested in capturing any contradiction or difficulty arising from urbanisation, unlike Arrigo Renato Marzola who did precisely that in End of the Day some years previously.


  • Title: Entrance to Portello
  • Creator: Michele Cascella
  • Creator Lifespan: 1892/1989
  • Creator Nationality: Italian
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Milan
  • Creator Birth Place: Ortona, Chieti
  • Date: 1928/1928
  • Signature, Inscription: Michele Cascella/Milano 1928
  • Physical Dimensions: w59 x h46 cm (Without frame)
  • Exhibition History: This painting was exhibited in 1929 at the Mostra di Basilio e Michele Cascella at Galleria Pesaro (no. 23)
  • Provenance: Cariplo Foundation, 1929
  • Type: Ink, India ink & watercolour on Bristol board
  • Rights: http://www.artgate-cariplo.it/en/disclaimer.html
  • External Link: www.artgate-cariplo.it

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