Socialist Worker

Radical Light: Italy’s Divisionist Painters

Issue No. 2108

The Living Torrent

The Living Torrent

Many Socialist Worker readers will be familiar with The Fourth Estate, the masterpiece by the Italian socialist painter Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo.

It shows striking agricultural workers marching out of darkness into the light, and has graced book covers, the cinema screen and protest flags on every major Italian demonstration.

His alternative version of the painting, The Living Torrent, is one of a number of works by Pellizza that are shown.

Many of the paintings focus on the plight of the poor and the reality of working life. Emilio Longoni’s Orator of the Strike is one of its main features. It depicts a worker leaning from a wall to address a crowd of strikers.

The exhibition is a fascinating collection of paintings that reflect the era they emerged from – a time of growing unrest as ordinary people became disillusioned with the system they lived under.

Radical Light: Italy’s Divisionist Painters 1891-1910
National Gallery unitl 7 September

If you enjoy Socialist Worker, please consider giving to our annual appeal to make sure we can maintain and develop our online and print versions of Socialist Worker. Go here for details and to donate.

Article information

Tue 1 Jul 2008, 18:49 BST
Issue No. 2108
Share this article


Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.