Room One - La carica dei granatieri di Sardegna (The charge of the grenadiers of Sardinia)


The start of the story dedicated to this Renaissance epic is entrusted to Vincenzo De Stefani of Verona, who created La carica dei granatieri di Sardegna (The charge of the grenadiers of Sardinia) in 1891. This event refers to the second battle at Goito fought on 30th May 1848 against the Austrian army led by the then Crown Prince and Duke of Savoy, Victor Emmanuel. Skillfully taking advantage of the curves of the wall, the artist composes the engagement between the two armies, guiding the eyes of the spectator downwards and thereby creating a visual counter balance while moving up the ramp. Following, then, the well-established rules of the contemporary battle painting, he composes the battle scene by means of a series of events, set in such a way as to punctuate the wide open countryside. Here, the soldiers, in groups or alone, are caught at different moments, some are running, looking ahead, others are falling or some have already fallen. In the foreground, as was the practice then, are the bodies and uniforms mixed up, united by the same destiny, death. The bright, intense light sketches out the reliefs and illuminates the details. In the background, Victor Emmanuel, a soldier among soldiers, stands out heroic and victorious. The natural element, drawn with thick, soft, covering brushstrokes, puts the stress on each different event, while at the same time uniting them by means of a beautiful, intense emerald green which is rendered even more resonant by the use of the technique of encausting. It is worth remembering that this first painting is the only one that takes up the entire wall going upstairs; this wall being on the lowest floor of the Tower is not interrupted, as the others are, by the large windows with high arch.