Home > From the tavern: Innovation stories and opinions > Dolce Vita? The joy to create can never be taken for granted

Dolce Vita? The joy to create can never be taken for granted

Vittorio Zecchin, Una e mille notte, 1914

Vittorio Zecchin, Una e mille notte, 1914

Enrico Prampolini, Ritratto di Marinetti, poeta del Golfo della Spezia, 1934

Enrico Prampolini, Ritratto di Marinetti, poeta del Golfo della Spezia, 1934

For the second time in a matter of weeks, I strolled, mesmerized, through the “Dolce Vita?” temporary exhibition at Musee d’Orsay in Paris, which covers Italian visual arts in the first half of the 20th century. As we see the poetry of an Enrico Prampolini or an Achille Funi and the exhuberance of a Giorgio de Chirico or a Vittorio Zecchin  gradually grinding to a halt, there could be no starker reminder that the freedom to experiment, the urge to innovate, and the joy to create can never be taken for granted.

Antonio Donghi, Circo equestre, 1927

Antonio Donghi, Circo equestre, 1927

However technically compelling, Antonio Donghi’s masterpieces such as Circo Equestre bring the Liberty movement to a standstill at the same time as fascism takes hold in the country. By the time Donghi paints the Equestrial portrait of the duce in 1937, all form of life seems to have died in his work. The rest is history.

Antonio Donghi, Equestrial portrait of the Duce, 1937

Antonio Donghi, Equestrial portrait of the duce, 1937

A century later, we live in a an era of bubbling creativity and fast-paced innovation similar to La Belle Epoque and Les Années Folles. But across Europe, fascism is back at the gates. Let’s repel it this time!

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