Felice Casorati

FELICE CASORATI The concert of painting

08 September ― 09 December 2018

The concert of painting

Anthological exhibition Magnani-Rocca Foundation
Mamiano di Traversetolo – Parma
18 March – 2 July 2023


Fondazione Magnani-Rocca in Mamiano di Traversetolo (Parma), from 18th March to 2nd July 2023, dedicates to Felice Casorati an anthological exhibition of more than eighty works, among which there are many absolute masterpieces. The curators of the exhibition are Giorgina Bertolino, Daniela Ferrari, Stefano Roffi.

The exhibition allows visitors to know the work of Casorati in its completeness, showing through key works his favorite figures and themes and documenting every season of his painting, from 1907 to 1960. It opens with Ritratto della sorella Elvira (Portrait of sister Elvira), which marks his debut at the 1907 Venice Biennale, Le ereditiere (The heiresses) from 1910 and Notturno (Nocturnal) from 1912-13. These first paintings, permeated of a calm measure, denote the early and sophisticated visual culture of Casorati, derived from the study of the ancient, from refined and mundane models of Naturalism and Symbolism until the encounter with Klimt and with the environment of the Vienna Secession. The masterpiece Le Signorine (The young ladies) from 1912 represents a crucial work: it stands for a turning point in his painting for the clear and bright palette and for the rendering of the enigmatic female figures, endowing Casorati’s art with a new atmosphere.

The exhibition is particularly effective in capturing the Casoratian season of the twenties, when the call of the Return to Order (retour à l’ordre) brings a new classicism to European art. Thanks to some of the most significant paintings of that period – such as Fanciulla con linoleum (Girl with linoleum), Maschere (Masks), Concerto (Concert), Conversazione platonica (Platonic conversation) – the visitor is projected in a metaphysical and silent atmosphere, pervaded by balance, order, melancholy and mystery, in a theatre of infinite and indecipherable allusions. In the famous painting Silvana Cenni (1922), which represents an explicit homage to Piero della Francesca, everything is pervaded by a silent stillness, that freezes the figure and the scene in a mysterious still image; everything is true, in the most minute details, but so realistic as to result in alienation. In the exhibition, the works depicting figures are interspersed by some landscape paintings and by a nucleus of still lifes, including those dedicated to eggs, which stand for the heraldic emblem of Casorati’s art. Their perfect shapes and their fragile essence allow the artist to reflect on the contrast between precariousness and solidity, as well as a further reference to Piero della Francesca but also to Cézanne.

The chronological order, necessary for a philological reading of Casoratian painting, is sometimes interspersed with faster timestream that anticipates what results from researching on specific themes or subjects, in order to understand the essence of «the complicated plot shaped by the proceeding of my painting», as the artist himself would say. By observing the architecture inside the paintings, visitors will thus be able to see the play of space, the palette carefully composed in the balance of tonal, chromatic and luminous values, coherence and, together, the magic that mark Casorati’s research also in the works of the following decades.

The relationship between painting and music, which is fundamental for Casorati, is made explicit in a series of works that, in the frame of an imaginary and ideal proximity between the artist and the collector Luigi Magnani, founder of the Magnani Rocca Foundation, emphasizes their common passions. In particular, Beethoven (1928), one of Casorati’s works, refers to Magnani’s predilection for the great German composer. This painting is on loan from Mart, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto that collaborated in the realization of the exhibition. The intense activity of Casorati as scenographer is documented by a corpus of sketches and figurines of Teatro alla Scala in Milan.


The fascinating painting by Casorati Le due sorelle – Libro aperto e libro chiuso (The two sisters – Open book and closed book) from 1921 appears during a nodal scene of La dolce vita (1960), one of the most famous film by Federico Fellini. This painting, through which Fellini may have intended to convey a key to reading the film, is part of the exhibition at the Magnani Rocca Foundation, suggesting an unexpected trait d’union between the painter and the director, to whom is dedicated, in the rooms on the upper floor of the Villa, a particular focus exhibition in the thirtieth anniversary of his death – alongside the anthological exhibition on Casorati – presenting sumptuous costumes made for films and worn by famous actors, such as Marcello Mastroianni and Donald Sutherland, posters of films, drawings by Fellini as well as rare vintage photographs.


The catalogue of the exhibition on Casorati – Published by Dario Cimorelli Editore, includes essays by Giorgina Bertolino, Filippo Bosco, Mauro Carrera, Daniela Ferrari, Stefano Roffi, as well as colour reproduction of all the works on display.



Felice Casorati. Il concerto della pittura

Fondazione Magnani Rocca, via Fondazione Magnani Rocca 4, Mamiano di Traversetolo (Parma).

Magnani-Rocca Foundation, via Fondazione Magnani-Rocca 4, Mamiano di Traversetolo (Parma).

From 18th March to 2nd July 2023. Open on public holidays. Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday 10am to 6pm (the ticket office closes at 5 pm) – on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays 10am to 7pm (the ticket office closes at 6pm). Open on Easter Monday, 25th April, 1st May, 2nd June. Closed on Mondays (open on Easter Monday, 24th April and 1st May).

Tickets: € 14 including the visit to the anthological exhibition on Casorati, the focus exhibition on Fellini, the permanent collection of the Foundation and the Romantic Park – € 12 for groups of at least fifteen people – € 5 for schools.

Information and group reservations: tel. 0521 848327 / 848148 – e-mail address info@magnanirocca.it – website www.magnanirocca.it.    

Guided visit to the exhibition on Casorati and to the focus exhibition on Fellini on Saturday at 4.30pm, on Sunday and on public holidays at 11.30am, 4pm, 5pm; you can book the guided visit by e-mail writing to the following mail address segreteria@magnanirocca.it , otherwise without reservation upon availability, ticket € 19 (entrance e guided visit).


The exhibition is realized with the contribution of:


Media partner: Gazzetta di Parma, Kreativehouse.

With the collaboration of: Angeli Cornici, Bstrò, Cavazzoni Associati, Società per la Mobilità e il Trasporto Pubblico.


Fondazione Magnani Rocca,
via Fondazione Magnani Rocca 4,
Mamiano di Traversetolo (Parma).


08 September ― 09 December 2018

Open april 25, may 1° , june 2. Closed on monday, open on Easter Monday.


From Tuesday to Friday continuous hours from 10 to 18 – Saturday, Sunday and Holidays open all day from 10 to 19.


€ 10,00 including Permanent Collections

€ 5,00 fors students

Informazioni e prenotazioni gruppi

tel. 0521 848327 / 848148 info@magnanirocca.it


The exhibition is realized thanks to: Fondazione Cariparma, Cariparma Crédit Agricole.

Media Partners : Gazzetta di Parma In collaboration with XL Catlin, world leaders in the insurance of artworks and AON S.p.A.

Technical Sponsors: Angeli Cornici, Butterfly Transport, Fattorie Canossa, Società per la Mobilità e il Trasporto Pubblico