Funi Achille, Glory
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works associated
connected artists

1,940; charcoal and tempera on cardboard mounted on canvas
cm. 295 x 209,5

Inventory: AI01556AFC
Provenance: Rome, antique market (1989)
Exibition: 1973, Milano, n. 136; 1988, Roma, s.n. ; 2001-2002, Milano, n. 62; 2014-2015, Milano, Gallerie d'Italia, n. 19

Purchased on the antique market in 1988, Glory and Minerva are two preparatory cartoons for the ceiling of the Sala Riunioni (now Sala Funi) in the new wing of Ca’ de Sass, head office of the Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde, designed by the architects Giovanni Muzio and Giovanni Greppi in 1932 and completed in 1941. From these studies the Ravenna mosaicist Giuseppe Salietti executed the large mosaic in the dome, which was hidden by a false ceiling for some time. The work, constructed around a central oculus, represents the Golden Age and is divided into four parts. The Dioscuri, Minerva and Glory stand out against a gold ground. These deities are presiding over the carpenters constructing a classical building (an allegory of Architecture) and over work in the fields (an allegory of Agriculture). The iconography is a return to the Graeco-Roman tradition with a view to celebrating that classical civilisation which, according to Fascist ideology, was the model for the modern one. Moreover some of the buildings are reminiscent of those painted by Piero della Francesca in Stories of the True Cross in Arezzo.


In Achille Funi’s cartoons, Glory wears a laurel wreath while Minerva, recognizable by her shield, is portrayed seated to symbolise Peace.


The two works were executed at the height of the artist’s fame. At the time he held the chair in fresco painting at the Brera Academy and was one of the most acclaimed exponents of Italian art. After being one of the founders of the Novecento Italiano, in 1933 Funi had signed the Manifesto of Mural Painting written by Mario Sironi, who had contributed towards leading Italian art to an approach that was politically closer to the “art of the state”. During that period Funi was intensely active as a painter and decorator, working on the frescoes for the Milan Triennali and the decoration of Palazzo dei Congressi in Rome (of which the Cariplo Foundation also possesses two cartoons, Roman Soldier and Goddess Roma.

Sources:Archivio Storico Intesa Sanpaolo, Patrimonio Cariplo, Opere d’arte. Atti d’acquisto ex Cariplo. Fald. 2/3, pratica no. 879 R/767, 27 February 1989


Eleonora Bairati – Mirta Serrazanetti, a cura di, Achille Funi, catalogo della mostra, Milano, Palazzo della Società per le Belle Arti ed Esposizione Permanente, ottobre – dicembre 1973, Crespi & Occhipinti, Milano , 1973, n. 136, p. 31;
Vincenzo Mozzarella, Ca.Ri.P.Lo.-Milano, in Vincenzo Mozzarella, a cura di, Funi. Itinerari di un affrescatore 1930 - 1943, catalogo della mostra, Roma, Galleria de’ Serpenti, dicembre 1988, s. e. , Roma, 1988, pp. 75-76, ill. s. n., pp. 75-80;
Tesori d'arte delle banche lombarde, Associazione Bancaria Italiana, Milano, 1995, p. 404, ill. n. 806 (L'Angelo della Fama);
Nicoletta Colombo, a cura di, Achille Funi. Catalogo ragionato dei cartoni, Leonardo arte, Milano, 1996, n. I 106, p. 132, ill..;
Leo Lecci, Achille Funi, La Gloria, in Sergio Rebora, a cura di, Le collezioni d’arte. Il Novecento, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde, Milano, 2000, p. 162, ill. n. 138;
Nicoletta Colombo, Biografia, in Achille Funi, Viaggio di un classico nelle avanguardie, catalogo della mostra, Aosta, Centro Saint-Benin, 7 dicembre 2000 – 18 marzo 2001, Ed. Regione Autonoma Valle d’Aosta, Aosta, 2000, p. 137, s. ill.;
Elena Pontiggia, Dioscuro, La Gloria, Minerva, in Elena Pontiggia – Nicoletta Colombo, a cura di, Funi 1890-1972: l'artista e Milano, catalogo della mostra, Milano, Spazio Oberdan, 15 dicembre 2001 – 24 febbraio 2002, Mazzotta, Milano, 2001, n. 62, pp. 140-141.;
Fernando Mazzocca, a cura di, Da Tiepolo a Carrà. I grandi temi della vita nelle collezioni delle Fondazioni, catalogo della mostra, Milano, Gallerie d'Italia, Silvana Editoriale, Cinisello Balsamo (MI), 2014, n.19, pp. 66-67

Antonella Crippa
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