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Leopoldo Metlicovitz at La Scala

Essay by Vittoria Crespi Morbio, Portrait of a Romantic Artist.
Appendices: Biography; Catalogue of the Works; Chronology of Productions.
Amici della Scala – Grafiche Step Editrice, Parma 2018.
Italian – English edition, pp. 181.

Aloyal and determined Triestine, Leopoldo Metlicovitz (1868-1944) was a key figure in the elaborate advertising system of Casa Ricordi and played a role in shaping its image. Posters, playbills, postcards, drawings to be offered to theatre subscribers, illustrations on the covers of scores, signs advertising a product, on each and every single thing Metlicovitz bestowed his clear, classical mark. But he did not stop there: his graphic works influenced the spirit of his time, steeped the collective imaginary, and shaped a perfect world of opera heroines, department stores, ship launching ceremonies, perfumes, everyday articles, Argentinian tangos. Offspring of the Art Nouveau decorative spirit, Metlicovitz finally distanced himself, privileging subdued moods, concentration, the static pose liable to arouse the audience’s emotions: his works distil a sorrowful humanism that continues to enthrall us even now.