The Worker is one of the eleven preparatory studies that Sironi produced for a
large-scale mosaic of Corporative Italy commissioned for the Milan Triennial of
1936. The artist had focused on wall painting and refused other kinds of work
for a number of years. The subject is a worker raising his arms in homage to the
figure of Italy that was to have occupied the centre of the mosaic designed to celebrate the Latin culture. The Fascist regime’s conception of the man as the
member of the family whose task it is to work is reflected in the figure and its powerful physique. The profile has been identified as that of Mussolini and the clothing, a mixture of the toga and working dress, reflects the Duce’s two functions as supreme judge and the builder of a new Italy. (Transl. by Paul Metcalfe per Scriptum, Roma)

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  • Title: Il lavoratore
  • Creator: Mario Sironi
  • Date: 1936
  • Physical Dimensions: w202 x h325 cm
  • Provenance: Rome, private collection
  • Type: preparatory study
  • Rights: Immagini Gardaphoto, Salò
  • Medium: mixed media on construction paper mounted on canvas
  • loan: Rome, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italy