Reimagining the Baroque in Italian Modernism. From the fin-de-siècle to Lucio Fontana

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Date

2016

Authors

Moure Cecchini, Laura

Advisors

Antliff, Mark

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Abstract

While Italian art of the twentieth century is usually associated with either the avant-garde practices of Futurism or the classicism of Fascist visual culture, the Italian modernists' complex engagement with concepts of the ‘Baroque’ has yet to be explored. Through an extensive analysis of paintings, sculptures, publications, collecting practices, and exhibitions, my dissertation addresses this lacuna by investigating how the Baroque was discursively constructed and visually represented in Italian modernist artistic and cultural debates between 1880 and 1945. I study how artists and critics such as Umberto Boccioni, Giorgio De Chirico, Adolfo Wildt, Lucio Fontana, and Roberto Longhi championed or disparaged the Baroque in the context of heated debates over the import of Italy’s rich cultural heritage, its status in modern Europe, and the potential role of avant-garde art as a catalyst for national regeneration. In contrast to previous scholars I argue that the development of modern art in Italy was actively shaped by cultural perceptions about the Baroque. My dissertation therefore sheds new light on the role of style in the cultural politics of Italy, which in turn will transform our understanding of visual culture in modern Italy, and of twentieth-century representations of the Baroque in art, literature, and aesthetics.

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Embargo extended at request of author and with approval of advisor and Graduate School administrators.--mjf33 2018-11-06

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Citation

Moure Cecchini, Laura (2016). Reimagining the Baroque in Italian Modernism. From the fin-de-siècle to Lucio Fontana. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/12822.

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