Project Description

Attilio Torresini (Venice 1884 – Rome 1961), Supplicant

Terracotta cm 35 x 30 x 30 signed (A Torresini) inside and, on the base, dated (1926), located (Roma) and entitled.


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The simplified face of a young woman that evokes the classical models of archaic Greek statuary, a modern kore that shows the beauty of the female face in the mystery of an “imago” that escapes a predefined vision and increases the sensuality of the woman, set aside the influences liberty, surpassed in favor of a modeling with large surfaces where light acts in a balanced alternation of full and empty spaces that highlight the features of the face and hairstyle.

It is a meditated classicism that animates the artistic program of Attilio Torresini in the thirties, period of stay of the sculptor at Villa Strohl – Fern, a laboratory of artistic reflection by attending which Torresini becomes a supporter of the recovery of tradition as a way for the renewal of art. The work presented here portrays Angela Colasanti, the original model from Anticoli Corrado, who Torresini married in 1927: one of her “Testa muliebre” the previous year had been chosen by Margherita Sarfatti for the I Mostra del Novecento italiano. Colasanti will become his inspirational muse, a perfect iconographic model for a classicism that will not suffer fractures, in renewed attention to the figure as the protagonist of sculpture, raising the study of the nude as a constant in his production.

Attilio Torresini

Also in this case, the treatment of terracotta equals the results achieved by the adoption of bronze, accentuating a synthetic and archaizing model taken up by the Etruscans but, unlike the contemporary results in Marino Marini, the research is aimed at an idealized aestheticism. More than an investigation of the real, the artist aims at an elegant formal balance: the articulated pose of the figure, the indulgence on the proportioned curves of the face, the classic style hairstyle reflect a recovery of the ancient destined to become, as in much production of the period, a return to order, reaction to the distortion of the anti-passatist movements of the avant-gardes of the early twentieth century. In the second part of his artistic career, Torresini participates in the major Italian exhibitions and has a personal room at the IV Quadriennale of 1943. His work, meanwhile, has been defined in the assimilation of a greater archaic severity. In 1965 the IX Quadriennale set up a retrospective with a group of bronzes realized between 1958 and 1962. Among the sculptors active in Rome between the two wars he is certainly the closest to the “purist” turn of the painters of the first phase of the Roman school. The intimate, graceful poetry of his portraits, of which this head is a shining example, and of his nudes configures a compositional structure free both from the remnants of Liberty stylizations and from every kind of monumental rhetoric.