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Achille Funi


Through the Window

1914

Seamstress

1914

Portrait of the Artistís Sister

1923
 


Virgilio Socrate Achille Funi was born in Ferrara, Italy, on February 26, 1890. In his adolescence he attended the Scuola Municipale d’Arte Dosso Dossi and in 1906 he moved to Milan, where he trained at the Accademia di Brera under Cesare Tallone until 1910. In Milan he met Carlo Carrà, Antonio Sant’Elia, Mario Chiattone and Leonardo Dudreville. In 1914 he took part in the exhibition Nuove Tendenze, thus showing his adherence to Futurism. Shortly after, he volunteered to fight in the First World War alongside Umberto Boccioni and Filippo Tommaso Marinetti.
After his discharge from the army, Funi had his first one-man show at the Galleria Arte, Milan, in 1920. That same year he signed the manifesto Contro tutti i ritorni in pittura and he met Margherita Sarfatti. After moving away from Futurism, in 1922 he was one of the founding members of the Novecento movement and became part of its Steering Committee until its dissolution in 1930. He consequently exhibited at the two Mostre del Novecento italiano (1926 and 1929); however, by the time he entered the Quadriennale in Rome (1931) he featured in a section entitled Milan School.
During the 1930s, Funi’s interests evolved towards mural painting. In 1931 he produced the frescoes of the church of San Giorgio al Palazzo, Milan, and in 1933 he collaborated in the decorations of the Triennale, Milan. That same year he signed the Manifesto of Mural Painting, written by Mario Sironi. A year later he finished the frescoes of the church of Cristo Re in Rome and undertook his most important commission, the Sala della Consulta at the Palazzo Comunale, Ferrara (1934–37). His skill as a mural painter was recognised by being offered a position as lecturer in fresco painting at the Accademia di Brera in 1939.
After the Second World War, in 1945 Funi became lecturer in painting and director of the Accademia Carrara, Bergamo. He carried on working as a mural painter and mosaicist for public institutions and private patrons throughout his career. In his late years he resumed easel painting, focusing on landscapes. Funi died in Appiano Gentile, Italy, on July 26, 1972.

credits: Hangar Design Group