Mucchi Gabriele, Caricature
AI01436AFC.jpg
works associated

1,983; Indian ink on white paper
cm. 28,9 x 23,6
Signed bottom centre: “Mucchi”; bottom right, inscription in India ink on paper: “Ndò, nn-è ccòs… / Nu ssc’rkj^t / senza né art / nnè part”; on the back, study in India ink of a female head
Inventory: AI01436AFC
Provenance: Milan, Servizio Studi e Statistica Cariplo (in 1983)

It was in 1983 that the Cariplo department of studies and statistics commissioned three caricatures from Gabriel Mucchi as illustrations for a story by Antonio Ventura to be published in the Rivista Milanese di Economia, a quarterly publication of the bank from 1982 to 2000. The choice of the artist was no coincidence, as Mucchi and Ventura had been working together at least since 1978, when the first illustrated stories appeared in the periodical Il Rosone. Born in the town of Troia in Puglia, Ventura wrote stories set among the common folk of that region that often included dialogues in dialect, as in the tale illustrated by this Caricature.

The scene shows the writer’s main character – his grandfather Antonio Ventura, known as Tata – in his youth. Having returned to Troia after serving in the Eritrean War in 1885, he “sets eyes on Maria Concetta Sorge” and decides to propose to her through Imperatrice Intrecciacorone but receives a negative and indeed derisive answer, as partly shown in the inscription. Her initial reluctance is, however, soon overcome and they end up marrying.

The same illustration appears in the story Varcarotta e Mortecozzuta, published by Ventura in 1986 in his anthology Le fave dietro lo specchio, for which Mucchi also wrote an introduction commenting on the perfect harmony attained between his images and Ventura’s words.

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

Bibliography

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. 208;
Antonio Ventura, Le fave dietro lo specchio, disegni di Gabriele Mucchi, Il Rosone, Milano, 1986, ill. p. 119;
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. 249, p. 245, ill. p. 244

Laura Casone
 
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