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Ottone Rosai

/Works and biography

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Dynamism Bar San Marco (Dinamismo Bar San Marco), 1913
Oil on cardboard laid on canvas, 55 x 51 cm
Gianni Mattioli Collection
Long-term loan to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice
© Ottone Rosai, by SIAE 2008


This lively and colorful composition with its fragmented planes—one of Ottone Rosai’s earliest paintings—testifies to the artist's enthusiasm for Futurism, which he encountered in Florence. The Bar San Marco was located in Via Cavour, and was a regular meeting place for the Lacerba writers and the Futurist artists. The Commedia dell’Arte mask, with its penetrating gaze thanks to a strippled light at the very center of the image, and around which the composition revolves, may refer specifically to Venice (city of San Marco and of Carnival). The fracturing of forms and overlapping of planes suggests Rosai’s reverence for the Cubo-Futurist style of his fellow-Florentine Ardengo Soffici, although his palette is brighter and blonder than that of either Soffici or Mario Sironi, both of whom were also blending Cubist forms and subjects with Futurist impulsiveness at this time. Rosai’s palette and the feathery outlines of his forms resemble those of the contemporary Blaue Reiter painters.

credits: Hangar Design Group