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United Italy at the Wolfsoniana

March 4 - September 25, 2011

In the entrance hall of the Wolfsoniana the four statues by the Piedmontese sculptor Giuseppe Carnevale, portraying the King Vittorio Emanuele II, Giuseppe Garibaldi, Camillo Benso Count of Cavour and Giuseppe Mazzini, introduce the visitor to this section devoted to the Risorgimento which points out the cultural and esthetic spirit of the Mitchell Wolfson Jr. Collection.
The two Chiavari chairs with the Savoy coat-of-arms, dated 1890 circa, draw attention to the prominent interest in the decorative arts as well as the elaborate carved frame of the embossed copper portrait of Vittorio Emanuele II by Andrea Cariello – on loan from the Museo del Risorgimento in Genoa – and the Staffordshire pottery figure of Garibaldi, an hero who was particularly beloved in England, especially after his renowned visit in 1864. The historic character of the other works of art, related to the period of the Risorgimento, documents the political courses of the period through the images and the propaganda means of communication. Particularly the paintings Italy gives the railroad to Genoa (1905 c.) by Luigi De Servi and The entrance of Giommaria Angioj to Sassari (1877) by Giuseppe Sciuti refer to two peculiar celebrative moments of the local history. The sketch for the frescoes of Brignole railroad station celebrates the construction of the national railroad as a contribution to the unity of Italy, while the study for the decorations of the Palace of the Province in Sassari commemorates the famous Sardinian national hero and patriot who, inspired by the ideals of the French Revolution, led the risings of 1794-96 against feudal privileges.