Italian modernist artist, painter, sculptor, illustrator, and designer, Mario Sironi was born 130 years ago on May 12th, 1885 in Sassari, on the island of Sardinia. After leaving Sardinia, Sironi spent his childhood in Rome and studied engineering at the University of Rome but quit after a nervous breakdown in 1903. He decided to study painting and began attending the Scuola Libera del Nudo at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma where he began painting in a Divisionist style which; with fellow artists Balla, Boccioni and Severini, who later developed the “Futurism” style.
After the disruption of WW1, Sironi’s version of “Futurism” gave way to an art of massive and immobile forms. Sironi was a supporter of Mussolini, and contributed a large number of cartoons to various Fascist newspapers and he also contributed to the Exhibition of the Fascist Revolution (1932). The paintings of his later years sometimes approached abstraction, resembling assemblages of archaeological fragments, or juxtaposed sketches – hence his sombre paintings are often characterized by massive, immobile forms.
PostWW2, Sironi recommenced his painting in relative isolation and began to suffer from many recurring episodes of severe depression, that would plague him throughout his life. His withdrawal from society increased dramatically after the death of his daughter Rosanna, by suicide in 1948. He continued working until shortly before his death in Milan, on August 13, 1961.
Many of Sironi’s art can be found at the Pinateca di Brera (Milan), Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna (Turin) and the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna (Rome).
- The above image “La Giustizia” (Justice) was used as a menu First class menú cover for the cruise ship Achille Lauro Motonave, for Saturday 24 June, 1967.
Chef’s suggestion (options include):
Hors d’oeuvre – choose from a selection comprising Parma ham, canape Roquefort, Milan salami, Greek black olives.
Parlinaceous – Quenelles of semolia, Romaine vermicelli with tomato sauce
Fishes – Stonebass steak, Livernaise cod, poached au cour-boulllon, fillets of snapper, Grenoblaise
Main dishes – mutton, boiled with vegetable, Fricandeau of veal Voulangere, escalope a la Piacentina
Cold dishes – roast suckling pig, fish mayonnaisse Moscovite, brisket of veal, beef tongue picked horseradish sauce, Spring chicken from the spit
Dessert – Dobos cake, greengage jelly with cream, ice cup Flirorio, banana water ice.