Skip to main content


From Tuesday to Sunday 10 am to 7:00 pm The ticket office closes one hour before closing time


Appartamento del Doge

Fondazione Palazzo Ducale Genova

The 1920s in Italy was a complex decade, as roaring and sparkling as it was restless. These were crucial years of transition from the Great War that had put an end to the optimism and certainties of the Belle Époque to the worldwide crisis of the decade to come. The first signs of this crisis came in 1929 with the Wall Street crash, followed as the decade progressed by the rise of dictatorial regimes on the international stage and ending with the tragedy of the Second World War.

The general climate of uncertainty in the aftermath of World War One, when Italy was going through a difficult economic transition as well as significant social and cultural changes, was fully reflected in the art of the period. With their extraordinary linguistic variety, the works produced at the time took the temperature of a convulsive and complex age, an age that has direct correspondences to our own.

The exhibition seeks to offer an original take on the decade, highlighting not so much the external aspects of glamour that embodied a desire for escapism and sensual gratification but rather its darker, more disquieting and irrational sides.

The path through the exhibition unfolds across eleven sections. The first is entitled Faces of the Time and offers a cross-section of contemporary Italian society; here emerges the “modern classicism” so characteristic of the stylistic experiments of Novecento Italiano and Magic Realism.

The modernity we find in Severini, Casorati, Oppi and Arturo Martini appears different from that championed by the futurist avant-garde. Their version of modernity brought past and present together, forging a close connection between tradition and renewal. At the same time it also became the expression of a sense of unease and dissociation from everyday reality, as in the works of Carrà, Guidi, Donghi and Ferrazzi, or of a feeling of nostalgia for a mythical and ideal past, as in the case of Funi and Sironi.

The story the exhibition tells of those years also documents a sense of alienation and the dystopian visions produced by the agonising distortions of modernity made evident in the works of Sexto Canegallo. Equally, it highlights the attainment of autonomy and independence on the part of women, a process that had been set in motion by the ground-breaking social role they had played during the Great War. Finally, the last section is dedicated to the taste for art déco – a wonderful and more widely known face of the 1920s that represents a fundamental expression of an overwhelming desire for elegance, luxury and hedonism.

Curators Matteo Fochessati e Gianni Franzone


standard ticket 12€
reduced ticket 10€

Buy you ticket on line here

Opening time
From Tuesday to Sunday 10 am to 7:00 pm
The ticket office closes one hour before closing time

Audioguide 2€

reduced 10€
min 15-max 25 people

Group guided tour
Associazione Genova in Mostra