The nucleus of 200 unpublished works by one of the most versatile and eclectic figures of 20th-century italy all exhibited for the first time in Rome consists of small paintings on paper executed in the 1940s, found decades later at the 'Archivio del Cavallino'.
The catalogue of the exhibition looks at Zavattini’s relationship with collector and gallery-owner Cardazzo, whose Venetian salon was a sort of intellectual meeting-place for Italian avant-garde artists and writers of that time, including Zavattini. In 1943, year of the first Cavallino Prize, the artist was one of the promoters of the ‘Gioco del Paradiso’ (Paradise Game) exhibition, which included drawings and paintings by Italian writers, including Dino Buzzati, Antonio Delfini, Eugenio Montale and Leonardo Sinisgalli. Zavattini won first prize, thus establishing a lasting contract with Cardazzo. The catalogue reveals the across-the-board skill of Zavattini who, in terms of vocation and character, was equally gifted in the media of literature, journalism, painting and, especially, narrative. This unusual side of “Zavattini in color” is certainly less well-known than the ‘black and white’ version we know from his films, but just as rich in imagination, still able to tell stories, describe figures and surprise us, even today.