Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Estorick Collection (Islington) Against Mussolini Art and Fall of a Dictator

"One of the finest collections of early 20th century Italian art anywhere in the world."
- Sir Nicholas Serota, Director of Tate

In the heart of Canonbury lies the Estorick Collection, a small collection of Italian art displayed over three of its six rooms spread over three floors . We have always wanted to check it out after an earlier meal at The Canonbury, which is just beside the gallery housing the collection.

Impressions of the Boulevard: Woman with a Veil 1893 (Medarno Rosso)

After paying for the admission fee of £5 per person, we were told that there was an exhibition on Mussolini running concurrently in the remaining three rooms within the building. While I am sure Mr. Estorick had amassed an enviable collection, we found ourselves drawn to the Against Mussolini: Art and the Fall of a Dictator exhibition.



Previously little known cartoons and sketches drawn to ridicule the regime were on display. While I know that Mussolini was ambushed and executed while trying to slip away when things went south, I didn't realised what the Italian partisans did to his body thereafter.

The Execution 1945 (Merlyn Evans)


There was a small collection of photos archiving the public display of Mussolini's corpse. Suffice to say that it wasn't pretty. Then again, given what he did to the partisan earlier, that was to be expected. Rumour has it that Hitler committed suicide in his bunker and ordered his body incinerated lest he ended up like Mussolini.


There was quite an extensive video clip on the first floor documenting Mussolini's rise to power and his subsequent downfall. After you finish that, be sure to warm yourself up with a cappuccino in the nice little cafe on the ground floor before heading out into the big chill.

Against Mussolini (Art and the Fall of a Dictator)
22 Sept - 19 Dec 2010
Estorick Collection
39a Canonbury Square
London N1 2AN

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kyh said...

speaking of mussolini, i never quite understand the ideology of fascism and its clashes with nazism (or is there any?). WW2 never really stokes my interest in it. Perhaps it's cos of it being one of the saddest phases in modern history.