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Ardengo Soffici

/Works and biography

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Fruit and Liqueurs (Frutta e liquori), 1915
Oil on canvas, 65 x 54 cm
Gianni Mattioli Collection
Long-term loan to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice


This whirling and roughly textured café still life has much of the Futurist spirit. The watermelon slices and the shallow fruit bowl are adroitly used to set the composition in motion. The word CHIANTI is reversed in the upper part of the painting, thus deftly throwing into question the viewer's spatial position vis à vis the bottles (the letters CHIA appear again in the center). F.C.B. must be the brand name of a particular liqueur and occurs again in a collage by Ardengo Soffici of the same date. The stenciled letters SOF refer to the artist’s name, of course, but may conceivably have more than one meaning.
In 1915 Soffici’s and Giovanni Papini’s journal, Lacerba, closed down and the Futurists began to disperse. Several of its former adherents beg an to drift away from Futurist aesthetics and subject matter. The five shining black cherries in the upper right corner herald Soffici’s move towards more compact form, realistic drawing and atmospheric painting.

credits: Hangar Design Group