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Works from Bruno Mantura collection

Tuesday 23 March 2021 • Rome

109

Adolfo de Carolis

(Montefiore dell'Aso 1874 - Roma 1928)

Achilles' scream, About 1908

Estimate

€ 200 - 300

Sold

€ 538

The price includes buyer's premium

Information

two-wood woodcut on paper on card
22.2 x 34 cm
signed in lower left plate: A. DE KAROLIS

The archaic vocation and the desire to ennoble serial reproduction with the quality of craftsmanship leads Adolfo De Carolis to relaunch the art of woodcut, to which he has dedicated himself since 1903, collaborating with some of the main magazines of the time and illustrating works by Pascoli and d'Annunzio, authors who will provide fruitful stimuli for the definition of his figurative language.

The work is the graphic translation of a painting made in 1908 [ 1] and inspired by the reading of the XVIII book of the Iliad, in which describes the moment when Achilles, after learning of Patroclus' death, enters screaming into the unarmed battlefield (vv. 165-238): "The picture depicted the horror generated by that voice of Achilles, reinforced by the Scream of Pallas ", writes Angelo Conti in the catalog of the retrospective he curated in 1929," You could see in every part of the plain the crowd of terror pass, and overwhelm chariots, horses, men: the formation of three waves of escape, corresponding to the three cries of Achilles; and the whole scene gave the impression of human figures moved by the wind or struck by the fury of the sea " [2] .

The work clearly shows how from the first production, characterized by sugges Pre-Raphaelite and Art Nouveau tions, interspersed with stamps of an aestheticizing archaism, the artist's style has turned from the end of the first decade of the century towards a heroic and classicist stamp. In the interpretation of the Virgilian step made by the artist from the Marches, the real protagonist of the figuration is in fact the powerful and dramatic plastic evidence of the tangle of bodies and horses in the foreground, with a clear Michelangelo flavor, dominated by the looming presence of the Achaean ships. However, the common denominator of the artist's entire production remains the linear synthesis, considered by De Carolis as a fundamental ingredient of modern decoration for the possibility of fixing the eternal essence of things.

The work was particularly appreciated by Gabriele d'Annunzio, who, with a letter from Venice dated 24 April 1917, he writes to the artist: "I can't tell you how much I like the wood of the Achilles Scream so full of heroic movement. I framed it and I often look at it" [3] .


Sabrina Spinazzè




[1] Esposizione romana delle opere di Adolfo De Carolis, catalog of the exhibition edited by A. Conti, Rome, Accademia di San Luca, April - May 1929, pl. XXV.

[2] Ivi, p. 15.

[3] L. Dania, A. Valentini, Adolfo De Carolis , Fermo, Cassa di Risparmio di Fermo, 1975, p. 66.

Exhibition

Rome, Prencipe Gallery, 2019

Literature

14 xylographic plates drawn and engraved by A. De Carolis, A. Moroni, E. Centenari and others. Supplement to the annual essays of the evening courses of the School of Typographical Art of the Municipality of Bologna, 1919/20, pl. VII;
Esposizione romana delle opere di Adolfo De Carolis, catalog of the exhibition edited by A. Conti, Rome, Accademia di San Luca, April - May 1929, p. 50 n. 16;
L. Dania, A. Valentini, Adolfo De Carolis , Fermo, Cassa di Risparmio di Fermo, 1975, pp. 57, 66, 81, 122, fig. 47;
S. By Pino Giambi, Adolfo De Carolis. The pleasure of art , Florence 1992, p 127;
S. Zanini, Adolfo De Carolis e la xilografia. Uno studio sulla decorazione del libro tra Otto e Novecento, Rome 2003, p. IX, fig. 138;
Adolfo De Carolis con gli occhi del mito, catalog of the exhibition edited by A. Amadio, S. Papetti, Ascoli Piceno 15 December 2001-17 March 2002, pp . 62-63;
Adolfo De Carolis e la democrazia del bello, catalog of the exhibition edited by T. Maffei, Montefiore dell'Aso, Polo Museale di San Francesco, 13 December 2008 - 3 May 2009, p. 75;
A coup de coeur. Grafica tra Italia e Francia dalla raccolta di Bruno Mantura, exhibition catalog edited by T. Sacchi Lodispoto, S. Spinazzè, Rome, Galleria Prencipe, 14 February - 16 March 2019, p. 45 n. 29 (repr.), Pp. 78-79 n. 29.

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