Francesco Ciusa (Nuoro 1883 – Cagliari 1949), The Nuoro little bride
Mold terracotta cold-painted, 44 x 15 x 14 cm, signed (Francesco Ciusa) on the brass plate placed on the base.
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The statuette, one of the finest examples of Ciusa’s ceramic production, depicts a young bride in Nuoro’s traditional dress, who, pregnant, smiles as she finds out that she can no longer fasten her corset. The geometry of the pleated skirt, stretched over due to accentuate the body’s momentum, compensates for the softness of the torso lines. The decoration of the corset and the cap varies from piece to piece, in the specimens known today.
In ceramics Ciusa finds graceful and smiling accents, unrelated to his sculptures, and devotes more attention to the description of the costume, which sometimes becomes the protagonist. His language still retains references to classical and Renaissance art, but now he also reveals a search for closed, compact forms, smooth and rounded volumes, which owe something to the Déco taste. From the ceramic déco, which prefers the smoothness of the glazes and the bright color accords, he detaches instead the sense of warm dexterity created by the terracotta.
In the applied arts Ciusa has been interested since 1917. In that year he signs the manifesto “Renewing Renew”, which, launched by Galileo Chini, Plinio Nomellini and the sculptor Filippo Cifariello, proposes to suppress the academies to replace them with artistic-industrial schools capable to renew the decorative production through the appeal to the popular art of the various regions. It is precisely in this direction that the Italian debate on the renewal of the sector is oriented shortly thereafter. Ciusa, clearly, is in harmony with a climate that leads to re-evaluate traditional craftsmanship in all its expressions. Beyond the economic motive (ceramics sells more easily than sculpture), to push Ciusa towards the decorative arts is also the need to find a more direct meeting point between his artistic research and the material culture of his people, the wonderful heritage of shapes offered by the chests, costumes and carvings of the shepherds.