GINO SEVERINI Zeus partorito dal sole (Zeus Born of the Sun)

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Zeus partorito dal sole (Zeus Born of the Sun)
Signed G. Severini (lower right)
Tempera on three wooden panels
106⅞ by 162¼ in. (271.5 by 412 cm)
Painted in 1954.

This work will be included in the additional volume to the Catalogo Ragionato dell'Opera pittorica di Gino Severini, currently being prepared by Daniela Fonti and Romana Severini Brunori.

Alitalia and Linee Aeree Italiane, Paris (from 1954)
Gruppo IRI (until at least 1989)
Private Collection (by 2009)
Private Collection

Rome, Palazzo Venezia, Iriarte. Antico e Moderno nelle Collezioni del Gruppo IRI, 1989, no. V. 17, illustrated in color in the catalogue
Brescia, Galleria Agnellini Arte Moderna, Opere Grandi Grandi Opere, 2010-11, illustrated in color in the catalogue
Brescia, Galleria Agnellini Arte Moderna, La Bella Italia, 2014-15
Milan, Expo 2015, Il tesoro d'Italia, 2015, illustrated in the catalogue
Parma, Fondazione Magnani Rocca, Gino Severini. L'emozione e la regola, 2016, no. 58, illustrated in color in the catalogue

Piero Pacini, Tempo de L'effort moderne. La vita di un pittore, Florence, 1968, n.p.
Gino Severini, prima e dopo l'opera. Documenti, opere ed immagini (exhibition catalogue), Palazzi Casali, Cortona, 1983-84, maquette illustrated p. 72
Daniela Fonti, Gino Severini. Catalogo ragionato, Milan, 1988, maquette illustrated p. 61; preparatory study illustrated p. 553
Roma 1948-1959. Arte, cronaca e cultura dal neorealismo alla dolce vita (exhibition catalogue), Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, 2002, p. 266

In the decade following World War II, Gino Severini entered a period of intense creative production during which he returned to Futurism, a style central to his early artistic development. Zeus partorito dal sole, which depicts the mythological subject of Zeus and his chariot born from the sun, is a powerful example of the artist’s renewed commitment to such futurist modes of expression. Commissioned in 1954 for the Paris offices of the airline companies Linee Aeree Italiane and Alitalia, the painting—monumental in scale in a reflection of the artist’s interest in the relationship between art and architecture—addresses the subject of travel. At the center of the composition, Zeus, standing regally in his chariot led by a team of kaleidoscopic horses, journeys across a night sky illuminated by a prismatic sun. In addition to the primary figure, Severini skillfully employed several other visual devices to represent both vast geographic and temporal distances through the inclusion of passages of waves, stars, and phases of the moon. Beyond the figural subject matter, in Zeus partorito dal sole and other Futurist-influenced works, Severini also explored the themes of light and motion. Through the use of a brilliant color palette including gold and silver paint and the juxtaposition of vibrant, angular shapes with softer, curvilinear forms, Severini achieved the lively sense of dynamism and fluidity that is so iconic in his oeuvre.

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