SOLO – Mario Mafai. Artworks from the Alberto Della Ragione Collection

11 Luglio 2020 - 18 dicembre 2020

Curated by Sergio Risaliti and Stefania Rispoli with Stefania Delia Previti and Rebecca Ricci

11.07- 19.11.2020

“Art is an ethical before it is an aesthetic matter.”

Mario Mafai

The new event in the SOLO exhibition series, devoted to great artists of the twentieth and twenty-first century, is, for the first time, the fruit of a collaboration between the Museo Novecento and the University of Florence’s department of history, archaeology, geography, art and performance (SAGAS). Stefania Delia Previti and Rebecca Ricci, two young students on the master’s degree in the history of contemporary art, have worked with the museum staff to plan a monographic exhibition of the work of Mario Mafai (Rome 1902–1965). This is part of the Dall’Aula al Museo (‘From Lecture Hall to Museum’) project that got under way last year in collaboration with Professor Giorgio Bacci, which is designed to bring the world of academic research closer to that of museum training and of outreach to the general public.

The exhibition features a selection of works from the museum’s permanent collection. They span the central decades of the Roman painter’s career either side of the Second World War, emphasizing his ties with his city of birth, certain recurrent subjects, his friendships with other artists and his political and social commitment in what were very difficult years for Italy and Europe at large under the Nazi-Fascist dictatorship.
Together with painters such as Renato Guttuso, Renato Birolli, Scipione and Corrado Cagli, Mafai is one of the leading figures in the Alberto Della Ragione Collection. The twenty works by him that are in the collection attest to the close bond of esteem and friendship between the artist and Della Ragione, and they are a sign of the enlightened collector’s interest in art that is attentive to life but an ally of emotions, close to real existence but also to dream.

The Dall’Aula al Museo project will continue in the following months with other monographic exhibitions devoted to Renato Guttuso, Ennio Morlotti and Arturo Martini, which will be on display in the museum or as special online projects.

The exhibition has been realized in collaboration with


Thanks to Leo France