Laura Moure Cecchini
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Form and formlessness
The reimagination of Baroque sculpture during Fascism
in Baroquemania
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Chapter 6 compares the 1930s reception of Adolfo Wildt and Lucio Fontana’s sculptural work as examples of Baroqueness, studying how they reveal important shifts in Baroque sculpture’s reimagination in the interwar period. Wildt’s work – inspired by Michelangelo and Bernini, but also by German symbolism – was seen as Baroque in so far as seventeenth-century art was perceived as addressing the disciplining of matter through technical prowess. By contrast, in the reception of Fontana’s amorphous ceramic and maiolica sculptures of the interwar period the Baroque signified a clear-eyed engagement with materials and social reality, and a critique of Fascist-endorsed forms of art, although not of the Fascist regime itself. This chapter reveals how this shift is linked to new theories of the Baroque: young Italian philosophers challenged Benedetto Croce’s well-known disdain for the Baroque by adopting the more benign outlook on the style of the Catalan Fascist ideologue Eugeni d’Ors.

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Italian visual culture and the construction of national identity, 1898–1945


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