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Matilde Cartolari: Old Masters' Exhibitions and Totalitarianism in Western Europe (1930-1940)

During its totalitarian rule, Fascist regime frequently promoted exhibitions in order to draw popular consensus within and outside national borders. Italian art, and particularly Renaissance, represented a model of ideal beauty and unchallenged civilization deeply rooted in European historical consciousness. Fascism harnessed this model to claim the primacy of italianità, namely a timeless ideal of Italian identity and cultural belonging, which also represented the sign of Italy’s predestination to greatness. Therefore, Italy’s artworks of the past were studied, collected, restored and exhibited as parts of an official cultural program in the service of Fascist ideology.

Aim of my research is to study the exhibitions of paintings by Italian Early modern artists (also called «Old Masters») promoted by Fascism during the ‘30s in the national and international context. The following exhibitions will be analysed:

- The so-called “Biennali d’arte antica” in Venice: Titian’s (1935), Tintoretto’s (1937) and Veronese’s (1939) exhibitions and the Venetian engravers of the XVIII century (1941).

- The great Italian exhibitions abroad: Italian Art 1200-1900 (London, Burlington House, 1930) and L’Art Italien de Cimabue à Tiepolo (Paris, Petit Palais, 1935)

The Italian policy will be considered in relation to its ever-changing alliances and rivalries, in the attempt to shed light on the dynamic context that involved the physical and symbolical transfer of artworks for propaganda purposes. 

Advisors: Bénédicte Savoy, Donata Levi (Udine, Università degli Studi)

About Matilde Cartolari:

Vita

2019 DAAD Scholarship, Warburg Institute, London (Winter term, Occasional student)

Since 2018 PhD Scholarship, Studienstiftung des deutschen VolkesSince 

Since 2016 PhD student at TU Berlin, co-tutelle with Università degli Studi di Udine, tutors Prof. Dr. B. Savoy and D. Levi (expected due date: Spring 2021)

2014-2017 Assistant researcher for the PRIN (Research Project of relevant National Interest) Artworks stories: from sources to digital, funded by the MIUR (Italian Ministry of University and Research) Ca' Foscari University of Venice

2015 Erasmus + Internship, Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm

2012-2014 MA in Art History and Conservation of the Artistic Heritage, Ca' Foscari University of Venice. Dissertation title: Mauro Pellicioli: restauri a Venezia (1930-1950), tutor prof. C. Piva

2004-2014 Diploma in Classical Guitar, Conservatorio di Musica E.F. Dall'Abaco, Verona

2009-2012 BA in Conservation of Cultural Heritage and Management of Cultural Activities, Ca' Foscari University of Venice. Dissertation title: Sergio Bettini e il dibattito sul restauro, tutor prof. C. Piva

Publications

tu-berlin.academia.edu/MatildeCartolari

- Mauro Pellicioli a Venezia: origini, sviluppi ed esiti di un sodalizio, in Mauro Pellicioli e la cultura del restauro nel XX secolo, eds. S. Cecchini, M. B. Failla, F. Giacomini, C. Piva (pending)

- Fra Madrid 1934 e Venezia 1937: Mariano Fortuny e la mostra di Tintoretto a Ca’ Pesaro, in Musei in Europa negli anni tra le due guerre. La Conferenza di Madrid del 1934, eds. E. Dellapiana, M. B. Failla, F. Varallo (pending)

- La fotografia per la storia del restauro: funzioni, forme, significati, in Il restauro per immagini, eds. M. Cartolari, M. Visentin, Milano: Mimesis, 2020 (pending)

- Pallucchini direttore alle Belle arti del Comune di Venezia (1938-1950): un itinerario museografico attraverso la storia della pittura veneta, in Rodolfo Pallucchini: storie, archivi, prospettive critiche, ed. C. Lorenzini, Udine: Forum, 2019, pp.261-279

- Mauro Pellicioli e i restauri belliniani alle Gallerie dell’Accademia (1933-1939), in Giovanni Bellini “…il migliore nella pittura”, eds. P. Humfrey, V. Mancini, A. Tempestini, G. C. F. Villa, Venice: Linedacqua, 2019, pp.267-279

- 1939: i restauri alla mostra di Veronese nel panorama della tutela nazionale e locale, in Studi di Memofonte, 18, 2017, pp.81-98

- "A Ca’ Giustinian fu tutto diverso". La mostra di Paolo Veronese a Venezia (1939), in Il Capitale culturale, eds. P. Dragoni, S. Cecchini, 14, 2016, pp.459-502

- Sergio Bettini, Cesare Brandi e la prassi conservativa: teorie a confronto, in Il restauro come atto critico: Venezia e il suo territorio, ed. C. Piva, Edizioni Ca’ Foscari, pp.123-140 

contact

matilde.cartolari [at] gmail.com

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