A wonderful futurist painting has been recently discovered by a collector in an antiques’ gallery-library in Milan. What is so particular about the artwork is that, to date, it is the only known painting that depicts Grosseto, the largest town in the Maremma Tuscany.
The painting portrays a man on a motorcycle, the wheels of which become two “O” letters in the name Grosseto, visible in the lower part of the image. The scene is set in the 1930s: the background features iconic buildings of the city including the Palazzo delle Poste, the Romanesque Cathedral and the bridge that crosses the Ombrone River.
Whereas some parts of Tuscany, such as Florence, Pisa, Pistoia and Livorno, were the set of important movements in favor of futurism, the southern part of the region – the Maremma – never appeared in this artistic scene, and very few buildings and paintings can be traced back to futurism:
- The airplane hangar designed by Italian engineer Pier Luigi Nervi and built in Orbetello in the 1930s. The elegant, geometric structure was destroyed during the War in 1944.
- The Palazzo delle Poste (main post office building) in Grosseto, designed by the architect Angiolo Mazzoni in 1930. It is a symbol of Fascist architecture yet futurist in the choice of materials, its linear and clean shapes, and the original tower.
- A painting by futurist Fortunato Depero, portraying a griffon vulture enclosed in a shocking-pink box next to farming tools. This was painted following Mussolini’s visit in Grosseto, during which he said: “Rural province: be proud of this and remain rural”.
- Another painting by Depero, showing an aerial view of Orbetello’s historic city walls and lagoon overlooked by the S-55 seaplanes that participated in the second trans-Atlantic flight in 1933 (Orbetello – Chicago – New York – Rome)
The finding of the futurist painting about Grosseto sheds a new light and reopens the debate about futurism in Maremma.
Source for text and photos: Maremma Magazine