Giuliana Pieri
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Portraits of the Duce
in The cult of the Duce
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This chapter looks at the evolution of the iconography of the Duce in both painting and sculpture and at the links between formal elements and some of the aesthetic and ideological traits of the cult of Benito Mussolini. It focuses on a small sample of works, mainly the official portraits of the Duce that appeared in Francesco Sapori's 1932 volume L'arte e il Duce. The chapter also focuses on Adolfo Wildt, Dux; Giuseppe Graziosi, Statua equestre del Duce; Ettore di Giorgio, Dux; Primo Conti, La prima ondata; and Thayaht, Sintesi plastica del Duce. Thayaht was the first to bring to the extreme the idea of the Duce as embodiment of warfare and to accentuate the ideal and abstract interpretation of the features of the Duce. The syncretism which characterised Fascist ideology is mirrored in the different faces of Mussolini, the ultimate object of Fascist worship.

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The cult of the Duce

Mussolini and the Italians


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