Date of Award

Spring 2017

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Major

LACS: Italian Studies, Art History

First Advisor

Dario Del Puppo

Abstract

My thesis explores the philosophical and ideological divergence among the artists of the Italian Divisionism. Divisionism is a distinctive artistic phenomenon that had a short lifespan of twenty years from 1890 to 1910. Like the French Pointilism, it absorbed the influence of contemporary scientific theories on optical perception in relation to colors. Instead of blending colors in a traditional way, the artists of this style juxtaposed individual, broken strokes in primary colors to achieve the effect of maximum luminosity. Unlike the French neo-impressionists, however, their subject matter featured a strong involvement in social and political issues, idealized depiction of nature, and a mythicized representation of maternity and social and anthropological rites such as funerals.

Despite its brief lifespan, Divisionist art left a significant legacy that the more renowned and dramatic Futurists appreciated and inherited. The Divisionists achieved less recognition than the Futurists because, unlike the bombast of the Futurists, they did not coalesce into a unified cultural movement. Divisionist painters shared an aesthetic sensibility but they also expressed different ideologies. They did not necessarily view themselves as a school of art. The plurality and diversity of attitudes however is what makes Italian Divisionism is an extraordinarily distinctive cultural phenomenon in the highly volatile and charged atmosphere of pre-World War I Europe. Therefore, the thesis will examine the deeply spiritual landscapes of Giovanni Segantini, the transcendental symbolism of Gaetano Previati, and the social themes of Angelo Morbelli.

Comments

Senior thesis completed at Trinity College, Hartford Connecticut for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Italian Studies and Art History.