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Radical Light: Italy’s Divisionist Painters

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

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