Profilo Continuo (Testa di Mussolini) [Continuous Profile (Head of Mussolini)]

Catalogue number
  • Art.IWM ART LD 5975
Department
Art and Popular Design
Production date
1933
Place made
Italy
Subject period
Materials
  • medium: terracotta
Dimensions
  • Support: Depth 280 mm, Height 340 mm, Width 280 mm
Alternative names
  • object category: sculpture
Creator
Category
art

© The artist's estate (Art.IWM ART LD 5975)

Purchase & License
Object description

image: A continuous profile of the face of Benito Mussolini.

Label

Mussolini, known as Il Duce, set up the Italian Fascist Party after the First World War. He became Prime Minister of Italy in 1922 and its dictator from 1925 until he was killed in 1945. ‘Profilo Continuo’ was made in 1933, or Year Eleven of the new era, dating from Mussolini’s march on Rome in 1922 (an inscription on the base reads 'Bertelli R. A XI') . At least two other terracotta copies of the head exist but it is not known how many were made. This version was originally owned in the 1930’s by Count Galeazzo Ciano, Mussolini’s son-in-law. The Museum also owns two smaller versions. In line with Mussolini’s recreation of Roman traditions, Bertelli draws from images of the Roman god, Janus. However, whereas Janus had two faces to look into the past and the future, Mussolini is able to look in all directions. Bertelli had also become interested in Futurist ideas and the theories of F T Marinetti during the 1920s and the head embodies their passion for machines, speed and power. The image is very much in keeping with Mussolini’s own self-publicity of the time which presented him in the role of technological and cultural pioneer.

History note

The version in the Imperial War Museum was originally owned in the 1930’s by Count Galeazzo Ciano, Mussolini’s son- in-law.

Inscription

Bertelli R. AXI

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All Rights Reserved except for Fair Dealing exceptions otherwise permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.