Valori plastici

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Valori plastici was an Italian magazine published in Rome in Italian and French.

History and profile[edit]

Valori plastici was published from 1918 to 1922, edited by painter and art collector Mario Broglio and focused on aesthetic ideals and metaphysical artwork. It supported the art movement Return to order so as to create a change of direction from the extreme avant-garde art of the years up to 1918, taking its inspiration from traditional art instead.[1]

The term "return to order" to describe this renewed interest in tradition is said to derive from Le rappel a l'ordre, a book of essays by the poet and artist Jean Cocteau published in 1926. The movement itself was a reaction to the War. Cubism was abandoned even by its creators, Braque and Picasso, and Futurism, which had praised machinery, violence and war, was rejected by most of its followers. The return to order was associated with a revival of classicism and realistic painting.

The magazine theorised the retrieval of national and Italic values, as promoted by the cultural policies of fascism, but also looking at wider horizons within Europe and using a vivid artistic dialectics with a return to a classic figurative source.

Alberto Savinio,[2] in the 1st issue of Valori plastici on 15 November 1918, announced a programme of total individualistic, anti-futurist and anti-Bolshevik restoration. In his first article of April–May 1919, entitled Anadioménon, Savinio expounds the intellective and enigmatically atemporal intuition which animates the world of this new "metaphysical classicism".[3]

The Savinian principles on mataphisical poetics are applied to painting by Giorgio de Chirico, by Carlo Carrà and Giorgio Morandi.

Although terminating its publication in 1921, the ideas of Valori plastici will spread outside Italy with the Return to order movement and helps in understanding the parallel histories of Futurism with poet and playwright Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, and that of Symbolism with Giovanni Pascoli and Decadentism with Gabriele D'Annunzio.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cf. P. Fossati, Valori plastici, 1918-22 (Essays), Einaudi (1981)
  2. ^ Real name Andrea Francesco Alberto de Chirico (25 August 1891 - 5 May 1952) was an Italian writer, painter, musician, journalist, essayist, playwright, set designer and composer. He was the younger brother of 'metaphysical' painter Giorgio de Chirico. His work often dealt with philosophical and psychological themes, and he also was heavily concerned with the philosophy of art. Cf. Dictionary of Literary Biography s.v., p. 264. Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2002.
  3. ^ L. Parkinson Zamora, Magical Realism: Theory, History, Community, Duke University (1995)


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