The classical canon in early-20th century Italian art Following the successful I pittori della luce and its catalogue, July sees the opening of another exceptional exhibition at Mart. Un'eterna bellezza (An Eternal Beauty) shines the spotlight on a specific aspect of early-20th century Italian art: the classical concept and the search for a canon that could create a new modernity.
The avant-gardes were among the most revolutionary and electrifying movements of 20th-century art in Italy and Europe. However, a very particular period saw a return to the classical, a so-called “return to order”, to beauty and the canon after the desire for freedom embodied by the avant-gardes. The protagonists were the artists who tried to create a new style, redeeming tradition but adding modern characteristics such as simplified form and the elimination of personal sentiment. These great masters of the 20th century were Segantini, Campigli, De Chirico, Carrà, De Pisis, Morandi, Savinio, Severini and Wildt. This period in Italian art was of crucial importance and had huge influence outside Italy (see Picasso), making a key contribution to the creation of the first international modern language that could adapt its principles to diverse local realities.