Mario Sironi

Mountains

c.1928

Original title
Montagne
Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 819 x 1079 mm
frame: 1054 x 1305 x 120 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by Signora Aglae Sironi 1980
Reference
T03114

Display caption

Sironi, a fervent nationalist and supporter of the Italian fascist party, began to use motifs associated with ancient Rome in his paintings of the early 1920s. Later works expressed a more primitivist or mythological vision of classicism, addressing the themes of rural work and the family. In this he may have been responding to the fascist Strapaese movement and its idealisation of rural values. Unusually for Sironi, there are no figures in this landscape: the human presence is indicated only by the small, cube-like houses and roads at the foot of the great mountains. The mountains are not thought to depict any particular view, though they may have been inspired in part by the Dolomites where the artist spent his summer holidays.

Gallery label, September 2004

Catalogue entry

T03114 MOUNTAINS c.1928

Inscribed ‘SIRONI’ bottom right
Oil on canvas, 32 1/4 × 42 1/2 (82 × 108)
Presented by Signora Aglae Sironi 1980
Exh: Mario Sironi, Palazzo Reale, Milan, February–March 1973 (works not numbered, repr.pl.64), dated 1928; 35 Opere di Sironi, L'Attico, Rome, May–June 1980 (35, repr.), dated 1932
Repr: The Tate Gallery: Illustrated Biennial Report 1980–82, 1983, p.39

This painting was exhibited at the Palazzo Reale in Milan in 1973 with the date 1928 and in Rome in 1980 with the date 1932. Francesco Meloni, who is preparing a catalogue raisonné of Sironi's work in collaboration with Agnoldomenico Pica, points out that the mountain slopes are identical to those which appear in the background of ‘Melancholy’ (pl.51 in the Palazzo Reale catalogue) and of ‘Virgin of the Rocks’ (pl.53 in the same catalogue). Both these paintings were reproduced in publications which appeared before 1930 and therefore the more probable date for ‘Mountains’ would be c.1928. The landscape, though inspired by the Dolomites, where the artist spent his summer holidays, is wholly imaginary. (Letter from Francesco Meloni of 4 February 1983.)

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1980-82: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1984

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