Arturo MartiniTorso of a Young Man 1928, cast 1928 or 1929

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Artwork details

Artist
Arturo Martini (1889‑1947)
Title
Torso of a Young Man
Torso di giovinetto
Date 1928, cast 1928 or 1929
MediumTerracotta
Dimensionsdisplayed: 860 x 470 x 190 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 1994
Reference
T06863
Not on display

Summary

Consisting of a sheet of clay pressed into a mould, Torso of a Young Man represents the back view of a male body from hairline to thigh. The sculpture appears classical in inspiration: the emphasis on the skeletal structure, together with the hollowness of the cast, recall Roman body armour, while the work's fragmentary form evokes damaged ancient sculptures. However, such classical references are partly countered by the figure's stiff pose and elongated form which recall medieval, rather than ancient, prototypes. In addition, the back has a sensuous, almost feminine appearance, which undermines any suggestion of glorifying the male form. Martini himself seems to have seen this work as combining the human form with landscape… (read more)

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