Funi Achille, Roman Soldier
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1,941; charcoal and tempera on paper
cm. 220 x 92
Signed bottom left: "A. Funi"
Inventory: AI01586AFC
Provenance: Rome, antique market (1990)


Goddess Roma and Roman Soldier are studies for the panel All Roads Lead to Rome, the only part of the decoration of the entrance hall of Palazzo dei Ricevimenti e dei Congressi in Rome that was actually executed. This rationalist building was designed by Adalberto Libera in the area of the city that was to host the 1942 Universal Exhibition ― which never opened because of the war ― and was not completed until 1954. Achille Funi’s monumental work portrays various scenes and figures involved in the foundation of the city, arranged around Goddess Roma, the young woman seated in the centre holding the globe.


Unlike Glory and Minerva executed for the Ca’ de Sass in Milan, these two cartoons are less finalized: the position of the centurion’s arms – sometimes erroneously identified as Saint George – has been modified several times and the goddess’s shield has been eliminated.


These two works are evidence of the educational interpretation of decoration that emerged from the Manifesto of Mural Painting signed in 1933 by Funi, Mario Sironi, Massimo Campigli and Carlo Carrà, which makes explicit the public value of artistic commitment as an integral part of the cultural policy of Fascism. The figures are simplified so that their symbolic function can be immediately understood and their robust bodies are rendered sculpturally and volumetrically


The marble bas-relief Man and Labour by Volterrano Volterrani contains a figure that also represents the Goddess Roma.



Sources:Archivio Storico Intesa Sanpaolo, Patrimonio Cariplo, Opere d’arte. Atti d’acquisto ex Cariplo. Fald. 3/3, pratica no. 879 R/838, 11 June 1990


Flavia Fossa Margutti, Achille Funi, Soldato Romano, in Tesori d'arte delle banche lombarde, Associazione Bancaria Italiana, Milano, 1995, p. 405, ill. n. 808 (come San Giorgio);
Nicoletta Colombo, a cura di, Achille Funi. Catalogo ragionato dei cartoni, Leonardo arte, Milano, 1996, p. 140, n. 125, ill. s. n.;
Leo Lecci, Achille Funi, Soldato Romano, in Sergio Rebora, a cura di, Le collezioni d'arte. Il Novecento, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde, Milano, 2000, n. 140, p. 164, ill.;
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.;
Marco Bona Castellotti, Breve itinerario tra le opere d'arte della Cariplo, in "La Ca' de Sass", numero speciale, Cariplo, Milano, s.d., p. 32, s. ill. (come San Giorgio)

Antonella Crippa
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