Mucchi Gabriele, Caricature
works associated

1,983; Indian ink and biro on white paper
cm. 29,7 x 23
Signed bottom centre: “Mucchi”; bottom right, inscription in India ink on paper: “Di’ Viv’ il Dduc’ / e llèvat’ il ccappell”
Inventory: AI01435AFC
Provenance: Milan, Servizio Studi e Statistica Cariplo (in 1983)

Like the other two caricatures in the Cariplo Collection, this drawing is an illustration for Antonio Ventura’s Fogli dal Tavoliere. Storie di Tata, which appeared in the Milanese quarterly Rivista Milanese di Economia in 1983. The story was partially rewritten three years later for publication in the anthology Le fave dietro lo specchio, where the illustration appears in the story Varcarotta e Mortecozzuta.

The drawing is of an episode taking place in the town of Troia, where the writer was born and often set his stories, during the years of Fascism on an anniversary of the March on Rome. The characters are Nicolicchio, a doctor with socialist ideas, and Linguadipecora an old working associate of Tata. Based on Ventura’s grandfather Antonio, Tata is really the main character in the story. After serving in the Italian army that conquered Massawa in 1885, he travelled the roads of the mountain area trading and selling foodstuffs with his associate Linguadipecora. Nicknamed “Barcarotta”, he combined a lack of business sense with a passion for gambling.

The story unfolds through a number of episodes in his life involving other characters. Ventura thus presents a slice of everyday existence that Mucchi helps to bring to life while underscoring the vein of bitter irony.

Sources:Archivio Storico Intesa Sanpaolo, Patrimonio archivistico Cariplo, Opere d’arte. Atti d’acquisto ex Cariplo. Fald. 2 / 3, no. 879 R / 615


Antonio Ventura, Fogli dal Tavoliere. Storie di Tata, in "Rivista Milanese di Economia", n. 6, Laterza - Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde, Bari - Milano, aprile - giugno 1983, ill. p. 211;
Antonio Ventura, Le fave dietro lo specchio, disegni di Gabriele Mucchi, Il Rosone, Milano, 1986, ill. p. 131;
Sara Fontana, Gabriele Mucchi, Caricatura, in Sergio Rebora, a cura di, Le collezioni d’arte. Il Novecento, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde, Milano, 2000, n. 248, p. 244, ill.

Laura Casone
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