Bringing together studies by art historians, historians, and political scientists, Fascist Visions explores the themes and paradigms that pervaded protofascist and fascist aesthetic discourse, cultural policy, and artistic production in France and Italy. Whether traditionalist or innovative in idiom, art functioned as the expression of fascism's ideological polarities: nihilism and idealism, modernism and antimodernism, revolution and reaction. This volume charts the unfolding of fascist aesthetics from its genesis in nationalist and antimaterialist ideologies before World War I to its full development during the interwar period and World War II. It also highlights the shared motivations of advocates of fascist aesthetics, including artists, art critics, political activists, and government officials, outside of Germany.
The eight essays in this book investigate the intersection of fascist ideology and aesthetics through a wide range of historical examples. Topics include: theories of cultural regeneration in Italy from the Risorgimento to fascism; the impact of fascism upon the work of such artists and art critics as Ardengo Soffici, Mario Sironi, Valentine de Saint-Point, and Waldemar George; the theories of modernist urbanism developed by Georges Valois's Faisceau; and official sponsorship of painting and the decorative arts in Mussolini's Italy and in Vichy France. The contributors to this volume include Walter Adamson, Matthew Affron, Mark Antliff, Emily Braun, Michèle Cone, Emilio Gentile, Nancy Locke, and Marla Stone.
"Fascist Visions is an innovative, thoughtful, informative, and consistently intelligent collection of essays. The presentation of the complex interplay between art history and history of ideas and politics constitutes a major historiographical achievement, which will have a deep impact on the debate on fascism."--Zeev Sternhell, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Table of Contents:
List of Illustrations
Art and Fascist Ideology in France and Italy: An Introduction 3
The Myth of National Regeneration in Italy: From Modernist Avant-Garde to Fascism 25
Ardengo Soffici and the Religion of Art 46
Valentine de Saint-Point and the Fascist Construction of Woman 73
Mario Sironi's Urban Landscapes: The Futurist/Fascist Nexus 101
La Cite francaise: Georges Valois, Le Corbusier, and Facist Theories of Urbanism 134
Waldemar George: A Parisian Art Critic on Modernism and Fascism 171
The State as Patron: Making Official Culture in Fascist Italy 205
Decadence and Renewal in the Decorative Arts under Vichy 239
Selected Bibliography 263
Notes on the Contributors 275