American Eric Estorick since 1947 recognized the great value of the work of modern Italian artists such as Boccioni, Balla, Carrà, Sironi, De Chirico, Campigli, Luigi Russolo, Emilio Greco, Giacomo Manzù and Marino Marini. He appreciated so much these artists that twenty years ago he sold paintings by Chagall and Kandinskij to give life to the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art in London.

The Estorick celebrates its 20th anniversary with a major exhibition of works from Milan’s Pinacoteca di Brera entitled ‘The Enchanted Room: Modern Works from the Pinacoteca di Brera‘, which will be on show until April 8th. The exhibition provides an exceptional opportunity for the public to enjoy many remarkable masterpieces of Modern Italian art, by displaying, alongside the Estorick’s own permanent collection, paintings, and sculptures of the Jesi collection that have never been shown outside of Italy. Emilio and Maria Jesi donated their collection to the Brera in 1976, and in that occasion, they stated: “This collection of the art of our time, entrusted to the State, is dedicated to the artists and art lovers of yesterday, today and tomorrow.”

Among the masterpieces on show in ‘The Enchanted Room’ there are Boccioni’s Divisionist ‘Self Portrait‘ (1908), and Carrà’s ‘The Metaphysical Muse‘ (1917), in which a looming, faceless mannequin generates the claustrophobic and unsettling atmosphere typical of Pittura metafisica. Moreover, it features Amedeo Modigliani’s ‘Portrait of the Painter Moïse Kisling‘ (1915), Severini’s ‘Le Nord-Sud’ – a dynamic Futurist tribute to the Paris Métro of 1912 –, and Ardengo Soffici’s exuberant Cubo-Futurist collage ‘Watermelon and Liqueurs’ (1914).

Ilona Catani Scarlett

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