Reawakening and Rite are the artist’s own reworkings of two panels making up one of the decorative friezes produced between 1903 and 1912, in a period marked by great success in the exhibition field. There are in fact various instances of works that for some reason returned to the studio after the end of exhibitions – the 5th Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte di Venezia (Venice, 1903), the Saint Louis Wold’s Fair (1904), the Esposizione Nazionale di Belle Arti di Milano (Milan, 1906) and the Fine Art Society (London, 1908) – being subjected to either complete or partial revision. In some cases, this also regarded the dismantling of decorative works, such as the panels of the Casa del Popolo in Rome (1906) and parts of the frieze for Palazzo Montecitorio (1908–1912), the home of the Italian parliament. In 1923, as indicated on the front, Sartorio reworked the two canvases and made changes to the content of the scenes in order to celebrate Italy’s participation in World War I. The date of the declaration of war on Austria, 24 May 1915, was added to Reawakening and Rite was transformed into a celebration of the victory of 4 November 1918, by adding the date and the names of the places where the crucial battles were fought (the Carso, the Piave and Vittorio Veneto). Painted with the aid of photographic images similar to those by Eadweard Muybridge, the draped nudes convey a strong sense of movement and appear very similar to the parliament frieze in stylistic and compositional terms. Sartorio was thinking at the time of the Elgin Marbles from the Parthenon, which he had seen at the British Museum in 1893, and the works of the Pre-Raphaelites Dante Gabriele Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones, his primary points of artistic and intellectual reference along with Nino Costa and Gabriele D’Annunzio.


  • Title: Reawakening
  • Creator: Giulio Aristide Sartorio
  • Creator Lifespan: 1860/1932
  • Creator Nationality: Italian
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Rome
  • Creator Birth Place: Rome
  • Date: 1904/1923
  • Signature, Inscription: G.A. SARTORIO / MCMXXIII
  • Physical Dimensions: w396 x h178,4 cm (Without frame)
  • Exhibition: Gallerie d'Italia, Piazza Scala, 6, Milano
  • Provenance: Cariplo Foundation, 1992
  • Type: Painting, oil on canvas
  • Rights: http://www.artgate-cariplo.it/en/disclaimer.html
  • External Link: www.artgate-cariplo.it

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