Informations and abstract
Keywords: contemporary Italian sculpture, sacred themes, documentary sources, Venice Biennali 1948-1968
The Biennali of Venice immediately following World War Two up until to the fateful year of 1968 provide a privileged viewpoint for a complete analysis of the evolution of contemporary Italian sculpture in relation to the sacred theme. This twenty-year period under analysis is in fact crucial for understanding the role assumed by the Church in an historical period so full of significant and radical transformations from the political, ideological, social and, therefore, artistic viewpoint. Without doubt the Biennali represent an international showcase par excellence capable of offering a complete panorama of artistic evolution at a worldwide level: the study and critical analysis of documentary sources relating to the works presented at the Venetian exhibitions offers the possibility of understanding how, between «realism» and «return to order», between the «informal» and «abstraction», between «pop» and «optical», artists develop their sculptural style in relation to the sacred theme. A separate paragraph is dedicated to the sculptor Giacomo Manzù and his difficult but exemplifying relationship with the Holy See, with Pope John XXIII in particular: the International Competition of 1947 for the Doors of Saint Peter's won by him represents an extremely important event in the artistic panorama of the immediate post-war period and constitutes the definitive opening up of the Roman church to modern art, thanks also to the endorsement of the 1964 Biennale which dedicates a personal room to the sculptor with the preparatory sketches for the Porta della Morte.