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Works from Bruno Mantura collection

Tuesday 23 March 2021, 03:00 PM • Rome


Duilio Cambellotti

(Roma 1876 - 1960)

The incendiary stump, About 1930


€ 300 - 500


€ 576

The price includes buyer's premium


ink on tissue paper laid on card
circa 5 x 5.8 cm


Rome, Prencipe Gallery, 2019.


Un 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, pp. 84-85 n. 38.

Comparative Bibliography: E.Metalli, Uses and customs of the Roman Campagna , Rome 1924 (various similar ends, now part of the Duilio Cambellotti Civic Museum of Latina );
M.Quesada, Duilio Cambellotti. Catalog of engravings , Rome, 1982, pp. 22, 24-25, 28-29, 56-57, 122 (n. 129, very similar, see file n. 92), 132-133, 138 ;
M. Quesada, Cambellotti illustrator , Rome 1991, p. 24;
A.M. Damsel, Duilio Cambellotti and the House of the Mutilated in Syracuse , in «Sicilia», Palermo 2001, n. 4, p. 61;
F. Benzi, Duilio Cambellotti illustrator , Rome 2010, p. 141, n. 384.

Illustrator, set designer, sculptor and engraver, convinced advocate of total art - his masters at the Industrial Art Museum are Severino Macchiati for graphics, Alessandro Morani for painting and Raffaello Ojetti for architecture - master of numerous techniques acquired in his artisanal training, Duilio Cambellotti is active in many sectors, from goldsmithing to medals, from advertising posters to textiles, from stained glass to pictorial decoration, ceramics and plastic, from postage stamps to theatrical figures . The incendiary stump, designed both as a finalino for a group of illustrations not found in the Duilio Cambellotti's Opera Archive, except with similar motifs, and as a greeting card, is part of the very rich iconography Cambellottiana of 'abstract' transcription of the artist's reconnaissance of the 'truth'. The basic theme is that of the tree and its various aspects: branches, development of the fronds, roots, boards to be used to build a boat (which can be compared to the symbolist motif of the sea), mythological quotation (Athena gives man the olive tree, source of food and eternal symbol of peace), pruning (exemplary in the window of the House of the Mutilated in Syracuse the trunk from which life is reborn, in this case assimilated to the mutilated one takes care of), as a yoke, poles to build the huts (provocatively the artist designed the Grande Capanna Artistica for the 1911 Exhibition), a trunk that burns, heats and illuminates (see the engraving The sacred fire, central with respect to the framework of the poles carrying the roof of the hut), support of the hedge (see the Macabre hedge in which the poles hold a sort of barrier of skulls), decoration frieze - as probably also in this case - greeting cards that could have a auspicious meaning: between the mottos there is that of Gelasio Caetani that the artist knew for the donation of the land useful to build the School of Casale Delle Palme decorated by the artist, " Ardendo vivo ", or even a sort of quotation of the burning bush of biblical memory, the bush that is not consumed, like a wish for a loved one.

Francesco Tetro

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