As the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy approaches in 2011 more and more exhibitions are opening up around the country celebrating il Risorgimento (The Resurgence), the long fight that led to a United Italy. Monuments to the various battles, leaders and heroes of the struggle to bring together the diverse areas and every shifting boundaries of the Kingdoms that had until then made up the peninsula are being restored or spruced up. And the calender for the coming year is filled with concerts, parades and public displays to commemorate the event.
Already in my own neighbourhood a site of one of the major battles for the city of Rome and the Papal States has been beautifully restored (photos to follow shortly) and slightly further afield a new exhibition celebrating Giuseppe Garibaldi has opened up at Castel Sant'Angelo.
Many of the works in that exhibition were rather generic in their iconography if at times just down right sentimental in a cloying way; however one particular painting caught my eye in its simplicity and subtle power.
Piero Guccione's Studio per l'autonomia, il muro de mare (Study for the Autonomy, the Wall of the Sea) created to celebrate the Autonomy of Sicily after the war. (Click for a larger view) A master of the seascapes of his beloved Sicily, his waters always appear untroubled but beneath them there is a tension that is the harbinger of things to come. Out of the mists a boat appears, its sails the colours of the Italian flag - the historic arrival of Garibaldi at Marsala in the controversial unification which was to bring about the autonomy of Sicily.
30 ottobre - San Marcello di Tangeri