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SEVERINI


The castle of Monetgufoni holds a great art treasure, a frescoed room by Gino Severini called "La Sala delle Maschere". This work was commissioned in 1921 by Sir George Sitwell, the then owner of Montegufoni, who wanted to have one of the rooms in the castle frescoed. The choice of painter, although the Sitwell children had suggested their friend Pablo Picasso, fell on Gino Severini.

Severini was a Tuscan artist who Sir George had met in Paris where the painter had lived since 1906, andĀ had joined the Italian Futurist movement.

The "Sala delle Maschere" (The room of masks) however belongs to a later classical period that Severini made his own at the beginning of the twenties, influenced by Picasso, when his painting became more colourful and his preferred objects, like harlequins and still lives, were illuminated by a Mediterranean light. The room chosen for the execution of the frescoes was a drawing-room situated in the wing of the castle destined for the two sons of Sir George, who asked the artist to fresco the walls with the characters from the Italian "Commedia dell' Arte".

Severini was enthusiastic about the subject as it provided an opportunity to represent characters half-way between invention and reality, between the human and the abstract, which corresponded exactly to where his art was developing, passing from cubism to classicism.

On the North wall is represented Pulcinella with a violin and two harlequins sitting at a table pouring wine, in the garden of Montegufoni.

On the East wall we find two Pulcinellas, one with a flute, the other with a guitar, while the wall facing South portrays Arlecchino, BeppeĀ  Nappa and Tartaglia walking in the garden of Montegufoni playing their instruments (they represent the two Sitwell sons and Severini himself).

On the fourth wall the artist has pictured two still lives with a background of Montegufoni.

In the Spring of 1922 Severini concluded his work to the complete satisfaction of the Sitwell family.



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