The 20th Century: A Revolution of Shape and Color

By Collezione Fondazione Cariparma

The 20th century is remembered as a century of great events, epochal changes, experiments. The artists were keen interpreters of the spirit of the new time, pursuing the principle of expressive freedom and making a break with tradition. Even local artists rode the wave of the reformist movement, taking new paths, daring in the mixture of forms, techniques and colors and thus delivering an unpublished manifesto of this piece of history to future generations.

Leopard attacked by a snake (1955/1957) by Antonio LiguabueCollezione Fondazione Cariparma

Animals spark the imagination of 20th century artists

The privilege of flight, the action moved by instinct, the survival force... All this and much more is the animal world that fascinates the man, who has always been a keen observer.

Antonio Ligabue is an artist marked by a hostile fate, by drama and suffering. The fight between beasts that he stages in the painting is the struggle for life, its struggle for survival.

The vegetation in the background is luxuriant, characterized by equatorial plants of a bright green color and the sky is clear, in stark contrast to the scene of violence between beasts.

Birds in Piantalfumo (1969) by Goliardo PadovaCollezione Fondazione Cariparma

Goliardo Padova is a man closely linked to the countryside and the Po river. In his works he tells of this land, its colors in the different seasons, the life of the animals that populate it.

At Piantalfumo di Tizzano, in the Parma Apennines, from an intricate vegetation, a flock of birds takes off. The bodies are thin yellow filaments, similar to lightning, pointing towards the sky.

Alone on the vine (1970) by Goliardo PadovaCollezione Fondazione Cariparma

Not just birds ... In the vineyard a huge green creature appears, similar to an insect, almost perfectly camouflaged among the vines, were it not for its unreal size.

In the stillness of the countryside the insect suddenly appears, a destabilizing element that gives shape to the painter's deepest and most intimate dimension, the visionary and sometimes tormented one.

Landscape n. 31 (1959) by Goliardo PadovaCollezione Fondazione Cariparma

Possible scenarios of the Po countryside

The vegetation is dense: above the tufts of grass, shrubs and bushes, a sky with brown tones, unusual and unreal, is grafted. The brushstrokes are full of matter, marked and irregular.

The walls of Sabbioneta (1977) by Goliardo PadovaCollezione Fondazione Cariparma

The painter returns a personal vision of the landscape of Sabbioneta. He paints an intricate tangle of arborescences: branches and leaves intertwine without order and without direction.

It is a triumph of vegetation. The matter emerges overwhelmingly from the support: thickness of color comes together and seems to recreate the real consistency of the plant elements, like a bas-relief.

Landscape of the Bassa: Sissa (1945) by Bruno ZoniCollezione Fondazione Cariparma

Bruno Zoni was born in Coltaro di Sissa, in the silent countryside lapped by the Po river.
Proud of his origins in the Po Valley, he never missed an opportunity to testify to it through his works.

A wide road leads to a cluster of colorful houses in the background. The light tones of the sky and the buildings contrast with the dark color of the trees in the foreground. Humans are absent, there is silence.

The Po river (1954) by Bruno ZoniCollezione Fondazione Cariparma

The painter celebrates the Great River with a view that embraces the watercourse, the bridge that crosses it and the wide sky on which an orange sun rises.

Manarola (1959) by Bruno ZoniCollezione Fondazione Cariparma

And then there is the sea...

To contemplate, interpret and impress on the canvas.

Liguria and its landscapes are a source of inspiration for Bruno Zoni: green, sky, rocks, sea, light. He spent his summer in the enchanting Manarola, discovered thanks to his painter friend Birolli.

Sea, rocks, colorful houses, flourishing vegetation: all this is summarized in the splitting of the floors and in the juxtaposition of broken languages ​​of color, in constant exchange with the informal.

Landscape with blue trees by MATTIOLI CARLOCollezione Fondazione Cariparma

In Carlo Mattioli's landscapes, nature is solitary, essential, absolute, not affected by human presence or by the marks left by its passage.

The trees in the foreground, tall and with pasty blue foliage, are maritime pines, a tribute to Versilia. Nature is a metaphor for the beauty of creation and the tree becomes its perfect expression.

Seated nude (1940) by Bruno ZoniCollezione Fondazione Cariparma

Charm and grace of the female body

A naked woman indulges in her thoughts, sitting on a chair: her heavy head rests on her right arm and an expression of discomfort is imprinted on her face. A helpless and lonely young woman.

Breakfast on the grass (1946) by BOCCHI AMEDEOCollezione Fondazione Cariparma

The female universe, which has always been at the center of Bocchi's research, is told in an excerpt from everyday life: breakfast time. Three ladies, similar to the Three Graces, are lying on the lawn.

The scene is set in the garden of Villa Strohl-Fern in Rome, the place where Bocchi moved in 1915 and where he established his home and studio together with his sculptor friend Brozzi.

Bathers (1969) by TESSONI LUIGICollezione Fondazione Cariparma

Luigi Tessoni's bathers are modern women, with sinuous and soft shapes and naked, almost transparent bodies. On their faces, looks of bewilderment, introspection, analysis are fixed.

Still life (1953) by Bruno ZoniCollezione Fondazione Cariparma

Still life

In an interior, only a few objects, the highlight is the center of a small wooden table: a pitcher and a plate of pure white, and fruit.

The table tilts, almost overturns, a sign of an altered perspective.

Allegory of the Barilli family by BARILLI LATINOCollezione Fondazione Cariparma

One family, one story

Latino Barilli was the third son of the painter and director of the Cecropian Academy of Fine Arts in Parma and the only one who chose to follow in his father's footsteps. This work is an allegory and caricature of the Barilli family.

Latino, seated in the center, paints while the two sons judge the father's work; behind him his brother Bruno, composer, is bent over a score. The mischievous little dog raises his leg and...

Credits: Story

Text by Fondazione Cariparma and Artificio Società Cooperativa

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