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Carlo Levi

Torino, 29 November 1902 – Rome, 4 January 1975



Hercules comes from Raphael and Annetta Treves, a wealthy Jewish family of the bourgeoisie of Turin, and since he was a boy devotes much time to painting, which will grow with great passion for life, even reaching important achievements. Her older sister is the neuropsychiatrist Luisa Levi. After finishing his secondary studies at the liceo Alfieri, he enrolled in the Faculty of medicine at the University of Turin. During the University period thanks to Uncle Mr Claudio Treves knows Piero Gobetti who invited him to collaborate in its magazine the liberal revolution and introduced him in the school of Felice Casorati around which revolves the pictorial avant-garde Torinese. Levi placed in this multicultural context, he was able to attend personality as Cesare Pavese, Giacomo Noventa, Antonio Gramsci, Luigi Einaudi. In 1923 staying for the first time in Paris, where she meets for the first time with the works of the Fauves, by Amedeo Modigliani and Chaim Scutin, by reading an incitement to rebellion against the Italian fascist rhetoric and official culture. During this trip, he also wrote the first article about his first painting in the new order. He graduated in medicine at the University of Turin, but will not exercise ever as a doctor, preferring to medicine, art and cinema, journalism, and painting. The friendship with Felice Casorati I started artistic activity. After many stays in Paris where he opened a studio, his painting is influenced by the school of Paris, where it undergoes a further stylistic change. With the support of Edoardo Persico and Lionello Venturi, at the end of 1928 takes part in the pictorial movement so-called six painters in Turin, along with Gigi Chessa, Francis Menzio, Nicola Galante, Enrico Paulucci, and Jessie Boswell. In 1931 she joined the antifascist movement of Justice and freedom, founded three years before by Carlo Rosselli. If suspected of anti-fascist activities, in March 1934 Levi is stopped, and the following year, on 15 June 1935 on the recommendation of the writer Dino Segre suffered a second arrest, and he was sentenced to confinement in the country from Basilicata Grassano and subsequently transferred in the small town of Aliano, in the province of Matera. From this experience will be born on his most famous novel, Christ stopped at EboliThis novel in 1979 is also adapted for film and television by Gillo Pontercorvo and Francesco Rosi, with Gianmaria Volontè as Carlo Levi. In 1936 the fascist regime, on the wave of enthusiasm for the Ethiopian conquest, grant him thanks and the writer moves for a few years in France, where he continued his political activity. Back in Italy, in 1943 joined the Partito d'Azione and directs together with other shareholders, the nation of the people, organ of the Liberation Committee of TuscanyIn 1945 Einaudi publish Christ stopped at Eboli, wrote in the previous two years. In it Levi inhumane living conditions of that complaint peasant population, forgot to State institutions, to which even the word of Christ seems to be never arrived. The resonance that will have the novel overshadows his activity as a painter: but the same painting of Levi is influenced by his stay in Basilicata under Fascism called Lucania, becoming more rigorous and essential and blending lesson of Modigliani with sober, staff realism. Also in 1945 Carlo Levi interweaves a love affair, which will be 30 years with Linuccia Saba, Umberto's only daughter. Levi will continue after the war, his work as a journalist, as editor of the Rome newspaper free Italy, participating in social-political initiatives and investigations on arretrattezza in southern Italy, and for many years will work with the daily newspaper The Press of TurinIn 1954 joined the neo-realist group and participates in the Venice Biennale with valuable paintings, realist with his narrative. After Christ stopped at Eboli, of great interest with the words are stones, 1955, Sicily's social problems. The future has an ancient heartall honey is finitor and the watch thoughtfully and restless Chronicle of the years of Italy's economic reconstruction (1950). In 1963, to give weight to its social surveys on generalized degradation of the country, and motivated by the desire to help change a layered policy on retention of certain acquired rights immobility also illegally, passes from theory to practice and, persuaded by the other leaders of the Communist Party, begins to play politics. Senatorial candidate for a seat, he was elected Senator of the Republic, during two terms as independent of the Italian Communist Party. In January 1973 underwent two surgeries for retinal detachment. In temporary state of blindness will write Notebook in Gates, to be published posthumously in 1979 without the tail recently recovered by the scholar d. lost, 146 and plot drawings. He died in Rome on 4 January 1975. The remains of the writer from Turin rests in the cemetery of Aliano, where he wanted to be buried to keep returning, with residents leaving the country. Actually Levi returned several times in the land of Basilicata in the second world war. This is testified by the numerous photos stored in the art gallery dedicated to him in the town of Aliano him in various locations in the province of Matera along with his personal friends and with the same characters of the book.



Literary works


1945/ Christ stopped at Eboli, Turin, Einaudi

1946/ Fear of freedom, Torino, Einaudi

1949/ Script of the cry of the Fersen, Lewis f. Gittler and Giorgio Prosperi

1950/ The clock, Torino, Einaudi

1955/ The words are stones, three days in SiciliinTurin, Einaudi

1956/ The future has an ancient heart. Trip to the Soviet Union, Turin, Einaudi

1959/ The dual night dei tigli, Turin, Einaudi

1960/ A face that looks like. Portrait of Italy, Turin, Einaudi

1964/ All honey is over, Turin, Einaudi

1922 – 1974/ Courage of the myths. Contemporary writings,Bari, De Donato Noon, emigration, renewal.

1975/ Writings and speeches in the Senate and in the Filef, Rome, Italian Federation of migrant workers and family

1979The threshold of the desertAn unprecedented, "the calendar of the people", 31 January 1975 # 363, a.

Lined gates, Torino, Einaudi

1993/ Woods of Eva. Unpublished poems 1931-1972, Rome Mancosu

2000/ The many homelands. Men, facts, countries of Italy, Roma, Donzelli

2002/ Unpublished Carlo Levi: with 40 drawings of blindness, edited by Donato Sperduto, Milazzo

2002/ Rome runaway. A city and its surroundings, Rome, Donzelli


Painting work


Woman with fruit, House of culture, Palms

Lucania ' 61, 50 x 3, 18, 20 m's canvas consists of five panels, Levi painted to represent the Basilicata to the exhibition of the regions in Italy ' 61 Exposition held in Torino on the occasion of the celebration for the centenary the unification of Italy.

1935/ Swimmer, Oil on canvas 50 x 70 two men get naked

1962/ 20 paintings by Carlo Levi, presented by Antonio Del Guercio, Editori Riuniti, Roma