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Massimo Campigli (Florence 1895 - St. Tropez 1971)

Massimo Campigli (Florence 1895 – St. Tropez 1971) began painting in Paris, where he was correspondent of the Corriere della Sera, in 1919. He was attracted by Seurat’s Divisionism and the diverse Cubist positions of Picasso and Léger. At the same time he was powerfully drawn to primitive art – Egyptian and archaic Greek – and this became the foundation for the elaboration of his artistic language. Not until later, in 1928, did he turn his attention to Etruscan art, which he came to know at the Valle Giulia Museum in Rome.
Together with such leading 20th-century Italian artists as De Chirico, Sironi and Funi, he worked on the murals in the Throne Room in Milan. His mature language merged his original interest in Cubism, especially that of Léger, with an attention to archaic and primitive art. This melding of artistic models so far apart historically and formally was one of the ways in which, in the interwar years, artistic languages were reworked following the historic avant-garde, as part of the “return to order”.

Antonio Del Guercio