Author: Achille Funi (Ferrara 1890 - Appiano Gentile 1972)
Technique: Pastels and mixed media on canvas paper, 93 x 72 cm
Authentication on photo of the Nicoletta Colombo art gallery (Mi) with n ° P96-I34.
Achille Funi was born in Ferrara in 1980.
After completing his early artistic studies in his hometown, he moved to Milan, where he graduated from the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in 1910. He met Carrà and Boccioni at the Academy, through which he came into contact with the Futurist Movement.
Although, in fact, not configuring among the signatories, in 1914 Achille Funi joined the Futurist Movement.
Although a member of the group Marinetti, the artist does not seem to fully embrace the stylistic features of the movement, elaborating his own personal interpretation of futurist art, which, exasperating Boccioni's movement, preferably looks at the plastic rendering of forms Cézanne.
With the outbreak of the Great War, he enlisted in the Lombard Battalion Volunteer Cyclists and Motorists together with numerous and famous personalities of the Futurist Movement, a strong supporter of the interventionist front.
At the end of the war, Funi begins to move away from the plastic dynamism of the figuration of the followers Marinetti, to embrace the ideas and theories promulgated by the Roman magazine "Valori Plastici". The magazine, directed by the painter and critic Mario Broglio, is a theoretical point of reference for the new taste that now unites many Italian artists. In fact, distancing itself from the linguistic experimentalism of the Avant-garde, the new taste that begins to find wide acceptance in the Peninsula is characterized by the rediscovery of a traditional, archaic and classic figurative nature, in the name of a return to order. In such a climate of restoration of the artistic past and recovery of the great Italian pictorial tradition, in 1920 the artist signed, together with Dudreville, Russolo and Sironi, the Manifesto "Against all returns to painting ”.
It is therefore in 1923 among the signatories of the Manifesto of twentieth century, group founded by the critic Margherita Sarfatti - director of the "People of Italy" - and by the Milanese gallery owner Lino Pesaro. Among the most orthodox interpreters of the demands of the movement, Funi does not struggle to conform to the stylistic lines of the twentieth century, giving life to works with dilated and monumental volumes, marked by a severe and early-class classicism. The favorite themes are the "classic" themes of the nude, the portrait, the still life and the landscape. Even the colors, in the wake of the fifteenth-fifteenth-century artistic tradition, are now soft and muted, while the severe and powerful forms: what the artist is most interested in is once again the plastic rendering of the figures.
In 1933 Achille Funi signed the manifesto Sironi on wall painting, together with Campigli and Carrà.
In the 1933s, Funi was the protagonist of large monumental works, especially fresco paintings, signing in XNUMX, together with Campigli and Carrà, the manifesto Sironi on wall painting. Participating in the climate of the time, he realizes artistic enterprises of great value and grandeur: he decorates the walls of the Triennale di Milano (1933) and Monza and is the architect of the frescoes of the "Myth of Ferrara" on the walls of the Sala della Consulta of the Palazzo Comunale of the his hometown (1934-1937). He also ventured into two mosaic works in the Church of San Giorgio in Palazzo in Milan and inside the Church of Christ the King in Rome.
In the 1945s Achille Funi was a professor of painting at the Brera Academy in Milan. In XNUMX he obtained the chair of painting at the Accademia Carrara in Bergamo, later becoming its director. In the fifties he returned to teach in Brera.
He died in 1972 in Appiano Gentile.