Eugenio Baroni (It.), ‘Il Fante Contadino’

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Description


‘‘Il Fante Contadino’ (‘The Peasant Infantryman’)

Model for one of the 8 soldiers on the War Monument to Prince Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy, 2nd Duke of Aosta, in Turin.
Bronze, height 70 cm, cast in 1935.
Cast under supervison of Baroni in the studio of
Fumagalli, Corso Napoli 48, Turin.
The bronze life-size casts were later also cast in the same studio of Fumagelli, but then executed by the craftsmen of the foundry
Primo Capecchi from Pistoia, under the supervision of Publio Morbiducci. The models were enlarged by Giulio Marilli (source: ‘La Sculptura Monumentale Negli Anni Del Fascismo’, Umberto Allemanid & C, page 126).

‘Armata invitta’ (‘Undefeated Army’)
The War Monument depicts Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy, 2nd Duke of Aosta, surrounded by 8 soldiers in various positions. Prince Emanuele Filiberto Vittorio Eugenio Alberto Genova Giuseppe Maria di Savoia, 2nd Duke of Aosta, commanded the Italian Third Army, which gained the nickname of ‘Armata invitta’ (‘undefeated army’). After the war, in 1926, he was promoted to the rank of Marshal of Italy by Benito Mussolini. The Italian General with the nickname ‘Undefeated Duke’, was in accordance with his will buried in the military cemetery of Redipuglia, together with thousands of soldiers of the Third Army.
With approval of Mussolini, the work was commissioned to Baroni on March 30, 1935. Baroni had worked on the design of monument from 1933 until his death on 24 June 1935. The execution of the work (casting of the life-size bronzes) was then commissioned to Publio Morbiducci, already chosen by Baroni as his successor. On 4 July 1937, two years after the death of Baroni, the monument was inaugurated by King Vittorio Emanuele III.

 

 

Left: ‘La Vedetta veterana’ (‘The Veteran Lookout’).
Right: ‘Il Fante contadino’ (‘The Peasant Infantryman’).
   

Left: ‘Il Fante che si toglie la maschera’ (‘The Infantryman who takes off his Mask’).
Right:  ‘Il Fante ardito’ (‘The Daring Infantryman’).
   

Left: ‘Il Fante cittadino’ (‘The Citizen Infantryman’). 
Right: ‘Il Bersagliere che ringuaina la baionetta’ (‘Marksman putting back his bayonet’). 
 

Left: ‘L’Alpino’ (‘Mountain Infanterist’).
Right: ‘La Vedetta giovane’ (‘The Young Lookout’). 
 

Bronze sketsches (all aprrox. 70 cm high), described and depicted in ‘La Sculptura Monumentale Negli Anni Del Fascismo’, Umberto Allemanid & C, page 126.
   

   

– condition : II
– size : height  70 cm
– signed : signed at base 
– type : bronze

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BIOGRAPHY: EUGENIO BARONI

Stadio dei Marmi
The Stadio dei Marmi (‘Stadium of the Marbles’) is one of four stadiums in the colossal sports complex Foro Italico, initially named Foro Mussolini. Located near the Roman neighborhood Monte Mario, it was designed in the 1920s as a complement to the annexed Fascist Academy of Physical Education, by the architect Enrico Del Debbio, under supervision of Benito Mussolini. The Stadio dei Marmi opened in 1932, on the 10th anniversary of the March on Rome. Encircled by sixty, 4-meter tall classical statues of athletes made from Carrara marble, it was built to celebrate Fascist accomplishments in general, and for the Gioventú del Littorio, the youth movement of the National Fascist Party of Italy.
The sixty towering Carrara marble athletic statues were donated by the Italian provinces and embodied the ancient cardinal Roman values: virilitas, fortitudo, disciplina, gravitas and dignity. They were designed and produced by twenty-four sculptors, including Nicola D’Antino, Aldo Buttini, Silvio Canevari, Carlo de Veroli, Publio Morbiducci, Eugenio Baroni, Arnolfo Bellini, Francesco Messina, and Romano Romanelli. The sculptors adhered to classical forms and elements, using Greek and Roman statues as models, like Doryphoros of Polykleitos and Discobolus of Myron. Seven of the 60 huge statues are by Eugenio Baroni.
After WWII, the Stadio dei Marmi was used to host some of the field hockey preliminaries for the 1960 Summer Olympics and also hosted the opening ceremony for the 2009 World Aquatics Championships.

Stadio dei Marmi, Rome.
  

The seven statues by Eugenio Baroni in the Stadio dei Marmi:

Left: ‘Athlete on sailboat’, donated by the city of Venice. Created in 1933. Inscribed: ‘Eugenio Baroni 1933 XI’.
Right: ‘Hercules the Hunter’, donated by the city of Ancona. Created in 1933. Inscribed: ‘Eugenio Baroni 1933 XI’.   

Left: ‘Climber’, donated by the city of Bergamo. Created in 1933. Inscribed: ‘Eugenio Baroni 1933 XI’.
Right: ‘Athlete with Ski’s’. Created in 1934. Inscribed: ‘Eugenio Baroni MCMXXXIV-XII’.
   

Left: ‘Rower’, donated by the city of Belluno. Created in 1934. Inscribed: ‘Eugenio Baroni MCMXXXIV-XII’.
Right: ‘Nude with Anchor’, donated by the city of Agrigento. Created in 1934. Inscribed: ‘Eugenio Baroni MCMXXXIV-XII’.
   

Left: ‘Javelin Thrower’. Created in 1935. Inscribed: ‘Eugenio Baroni MCMXXXV-XIII’.
 
 
 
 
 

Eugenio Baroni, ‘Monumento al Fante’ (‘Monument to the Infantrymen)’.
Displayed at the Venice Biennale in 1926, 1928, 1930 and 1932.

The ‘Monumento al fante’ was destined to be placed on the hill of Monte San Michele, 1920.
The hill of Monte San Michele (275 m) was one of the key points in the defense of Gorizia during the First World War. The Austro-Hungarian army built an extensive system of caves and shelters there, and equipped them with large caliber guns. After several months of battles, the Italian army managed to conquer the hill in the sixth Isonzo Battle. The remains of that time have been restored and the site is protected and given the status of memorial area.
At the end of the First World War, a committee was set up in Milan for the construction of a large monument to be dedicated to the infantryman, the simple soldier, symbol of the mass war, who had suffered most and paid for with his life. In the open competition for the construction of the work, there was, among eighty presented projects, the proposal of the sculptor Eugenio Baroni who imagined an enormous staircase in the shape of a cross that climbed the slopes of Mount San Michele. Along the staircase were placed eight sculptural groups that described the heroic deed of the soldier, from the call to arms to death in combat. At the top, the Fallen watched over the victory. The message of Baroni (volunteer in the war) elaborated a pessimistic vision of the conflict, and not a heroification.
Although the design was strongly supported by the committee and prominent displayed at the exhibition in the Palazzo Venezia in Rome in 1921, the project was harshly criticized by nationalist circles. Margherita Sarfatti, art critic and Mussolini’s advisor, opposed the work as ‘too maternal’ and ‘inglorious’. After the March on Rome, Mussolini denied the authorization for the construction of ‘a monument that wanted to remember the war as a great tragedy‘. The sketch and the plaster casts are still existing (source: www.novecento.org).

The complete sketch (‘Bozzetti General’) of the monument was displayed at the 15th Venice Biennale in 1926. The seven sections mentioned below were also presented at the same exhibition. In total  Baroni presented 19 separate parts of the monument at the Biennale in 1926. 

Later, in 1928, 1930 and 1932, more parts of the monument were displayed at the Venice Biennale. 

– L’APPELLO (STAZIONE I)
– I MUTILATI (STAZIONE VI)
– LA VITTORIA (STAZIONE V)
– STUDI D’ESPRESSIONE
– IL FANTE CHE SALUTA LA MADRE
– DISEGNO PANORAMICO DEL MONUMENTO
– IL REDUCE (STAZIONE VII)

A version of the original design.
 
 
 
 
Eugenio Baroni, ‘Il Pane’ (‘The Bread’), plaster. Detail of the ‘Monumento al Fante’. Displayed at the 16th Venice Biennale in 1928. 
 
 
 
Eugenio Baroni, ‘La Vittoria’ (‘Victory’), marble. Detail of the ‘Monumento al Fante’. Displayed at the 17th Venice Biennale in 1930. 

Eugenio Baroni, ‘Gruppo della Vittoria del Monumento al Fante’, plaster. Detail of the ‘Victory Group, Monumento al Fante’. Displayed at the 18th Venice Biennale in 1932.

 
 
 
Eugenio Baroni, ‘Il Bacio’ (‘The Kiss’). Bronze.
 

Left: Eugenio Baroni, ‘Il Doria’, marble, loacted in the city of Genoa. Revealed in 1929. Andrea Doria (1466 – 1560), Genoese statesman, condottiero, and admiral, who played a key role in the Republic of Genoa during his lifetime.
Right: ‘Il Doria’, in the city of Genoa.
Below:  ‘Il Doria’, executed in bronze. Height 27 cm. Signed 1930. Sold by an Italian auction house in 2021.
   

 
Eugenio Baroni, ‘Coppa Nuziale da Passano’ (‘Bridal Cup’), 1910. Bronze. Height 22 cm. 
 

Eugenio Baroni, ‘L’Abbraccio’ (‘Embracing’), around 1913. Bronze, height 20 cm.

Left: ‘La Vittoria’, executed in bronze. Design-part of ‘Il Monumento al Fante’. Height 42 cm. Around 1926.
Right: ‘La Vittoria’, executed in marble. Design-part of ‘Il Monumento al Fante’, 1929. 
   

 

Eugenio Baroni, ‘Il Decollaggio’ (‘Take Off’), design for a monument in Lima, Peru. Baroni started the creation of this work in 1930. It was reavealed  in 1937, two years after his death.

Eugenio Baroni, ‘Monumento del Mutilato’ (‘Monument to the Mutilated and War Invalids’), 1927. Located in Genuo. This sculptural complex was originally also part of the project of the ‘Monument to the Infantryman’ of Monte San Michele.

 

Eugenio Baroni, ‘Monumento all’esploratore Giacomo Bove’. Monument to Giacomo Bove (1852 – 1887), Italian explorer. Revealed in 1905. Located in the city of Acqui Terme.

 
 

Eugenio Baroni, ‘Monumento ai Mille’ (‘Monument to the Thousand’), inauguated on 5 May 1915. Located near Quarto’s rock, Genoa. Monument dedicated to the ‘Expedition of the Thousand’, an event of the Italian Risorgimento that took place in 1860. A corps of volunteers led by Giuseppe Garibaldi sailed from Quarto, near Genoa to Marsala, Sicily, in order to conquer the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, ruled by the House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. The project was an ambitious and risky venture aiming to conquer, with a thousand men, a kingdom with a larger regular army and a more powerful navy. The expedition was a success and concluded with a plebiscite that brought Naples and Sicily into the Kingdom of Sardinia, the last territorial conquest before the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy on 17 March 1861.
The names of all the Garibaldians are molded into iron on the pier. At the top stands a bronze sculpture depicting Garibaldi and other men who seem to be born from the rock as well as the hymn to Garibaldi by Mercantini; behind them the winged victory.
 

 
 
 
Left: Eugenio Baroni (date unknown).
Right: Eugenio Baroni at work in his studio (date unknown).
 
 
 
 

Eugenio Baroni (It.)
Eugenio Baroni, born in 1880 in Taranto, was an Italian sculptor. His family moved from Taranto to Genoa in 1882. First Baroni studied Naval Engineering, later, from 1900 – 1905, he studied under Scanzi at the Accademia Ligustica di Belle Arti di Genova. Baroni was profoundly inspired by two medieval Italian sculptors, Wiligelmo and Antelami, working in the 12th and in the late 12th/ early 13th century respectively. During his study he displayed a series of works in terracotta, bronze and marble at the Esposizione Società Promotrice Genovese di Belle Arti. In 1905 he participated in the Salon d’Automme in Paris; he came under the attention of Rodin, and was admitted as a member of the Salon.
Again in 1905, Baroni completed his first large-scale work, the ‘Monumento a Giacomo Bove’ for the public gardens of the city of Aqui Terme. A year later he won the competition for the ‘Monumento ai Mille’ (‘Monument to the Thousand’) in Genoa, revealed in 1915.
In WWI Baroni served as volunteer in the 3rd Alpine Division. He was awarded twice a Silver Medal of Valor for outstanding bravery, -one during the battle on Mount Grappa, Dolomites. 
After the war, Baroni participated in the competition for the ‘Monumento al Fante’ (‘Monument to the Infantrymen’). The monument was destined to be placed in 1920 on the hill of Monte San Michele, one of the key points in the defense of Gorizia during the First World War.
Although the design was strongly supported by the Committee and prominent displayed at the exhibition in the Palazzo Venezia in Rome in 1921, the project was harshly criticized by nationalist circles. Margherita Sarfatti, art critic and Mussolini’s advisor, opposed the work as ‘too maternal’ and ‘inglorious’. After the March on Rome, Mussolini denied the authorization for the construction of ‘a monument that wanted to remember the war as a great tragedy’. The sketch and the plaster casts are still existing (source: www.novecento.org).
The complete sketch (‘Bozzetti General’) of the monument was displayed at the 15th Venice Biennale in 1926. The seven sections mentioned below were also presented at the same exhibition. In total  Baroni presented 19 separate parts of the monument at the Biennale in 1926. 

– L’APPELLO (STAZIONE I)
– I MUTILATI (STAZIONE VI)
– LA VITTORIA (STAZIONE V)
– STUDI D’ESPRESSIONE
– IL FANTE CHE SALUTA LA MADRE
– DISEGNO PANORAMICO DEL MONUMENTO
– IL REDUCE (STAZIONE VII)

Later, in 1928, 1930 and 1932, more parts of Baroni’s monument were displayed at the Venice Biennale. 

Baroni won a medal at the ‘II Biennale Romana’ in 1925, and he was represented at the opening exhibition in 1928 of the Modern Art Museum of Genoa.
In 1930 he created the marble statues ‘Andrea Doria’ and ‘Guglielmo Embriaco’, placed above the entrance to the gallery that goes from piazza Corvetto to piazza del Portello in Genoa. 
A few years later he started with the creation of the sculptures for the Foro Italico in Rome: three of them, in bronze, were exhibited at the 1934 Venice Biennale.
From 1933 until his deat in 1935, Baroni worked on the design of War Monument in Turin, depicting Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy, 2nd Duke of Aosta, surrounded by 8 soldiers in various positions.

Armata invitta (‘Undefeated Army’)
The War Monument depicts Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy, 2nd Duke of Aosta, surrounded by 8 soldiers in various positions. Prince Emanuele Filiberto Vittorio Eugenio Alberto Genova Giuseppe Maria di Savoia, 2nd Duke of Aosta, commanded the Italian Third Army, which gained the nickname of ‘Armata invitta’ (‘undefeated army’). After the war, in 1926, he was promoted to the rank of Marshal of Italy by Benito Mussolini. The Italian General with the nickname ‘Undefeated Duke’, was in accordance with his will, buried in the military cemetery of Redipuglia, together with thousands of soldiers of the Third Army.
With approval of Mussolini, the work was commissioned to Baroni on March 30, 1935. Baroni had worked on the design of monument from 1933 until his death on 24 June, 1935. The execution of the work was then commissioned to Publio Morbiducci, already chosen by Baroni as his successor. On 4 July 1937, two years after the death of Baroni, the monument was inaugurated by King Vittorio Emanuele III.

Since 1930 Baroni had worked on the monument ‘Il Decollaggio’ (‘Take Off’), destined to be placed in Lima, Peru. This monument was also revealed two years after his death.