Scuola Romana 1928–1945

Scuola romana or Scuola di via Cavour was a 20th-century art movement defined by a group of painters within Expressionism and active in Rome between 1928 and 1945, and with a second phase in the mid-1950s

In November 1927, artists Antonietta Raphaël and Mario Mafai moved to No 325 of Roman street via Cavour, in a Savoyan palace subsequently demolished in 1930 in order to allow the fascist construction of the New Empire Way (currently the via dei Fori Imperiali) The apartment’s larger room was transformed into a studio

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Within a short time, this studio became a meeting point for literati such as Enrico Falqui, Giuseppe Ungaretti, Libero de Libero, Leonardo Sinisgalli, as well as young artists Scipione, Renato Marino Mazzacurati, and Corrado Cagli

Longhi used this definition to indicate the special work he perceived these artists to be performing within the expressionist universe, breaking off from official art movements

During those years, painter Corrado Cagli too used the appellative of Scuola romana His critique does not linger on name identification for the “nuovi pittori romani (new Roman painters)” animating this new movement

The spontaneous confluence of artists at the via Cavour studio does not appear to have been led by true and proper programmes or manifestos, but rather by friendship, cultural syntheses and a singular pictorial cohesion With their firm approach to European expressionism, they formally contraposed the solid and orderly painting of neoclassic character, promoted by the Return to order current in the 1920s, which was particularly strong in the Italian sensibility of post-World War I

After 1930, instead of dying out due its major representatives’ death (ie, Scipione, Mafai and wife Antonietta Raphaël), the Scuola Romana continued with various other artists of a “second season”, which developed during the 1930s and matured soon after World War II Among them were Roberto Melli, Renato Marino Mazzacurati, Guglielmo Janni, Renzo Vespignani and the so-called tonalists led by Corrado Cagli, Carlo Levi, Emanuele Cavalli and Capogrossi, all gravitating around the activities of the “Galleria della Cometa”

Later members included personalities such as Fausto Pirandello (son of Nobel Prize Luigi), Renato Guttuso, the brothers Afro and Mirko Basaldella, Leoncillo Leonardi, Raffaele Frumenti, Sante Monachesi, Giovanni Omiccioli and Toti Scialoja

The Villa Torlonia in Rome hosts, in its classic “Casino Nobile”, the renowned Museums of Villa Torlonia, part of the Museum System of the Comune di Roma: on its 2nd floor one can visit the Museum of the Scuola Romana, offering a comprehensive view of this art movement