La biblioteca di Luigi Russolo. Riflessi di un percorso artistico multiforme e discontinuo
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What remains of the library belonging to Luigi Russolo (1885-1947) today is just a fragment of what was originally. Nonetheless, the whole collection of volumes is just like a mirror reflecting his vastly heterogeneous culture which has been always attributed to him from people who knew him both personally and professionally. It is significant, in this regard, that Umberto Boccioni mentioned Russolo for his ideas rather than paintings during the Roman conference that he held at International Artistic Circle in May 1911. The innate curiosity, his natural inclination towards theory and research are also proved by the vastness of interests that Russolo matured in his lifetime. With a certain discontinuity but always pushed by the insatiable need to learn and know, he devoted himself to a surprising number of disciplines, moving quietly from metal engraving to oil painting, from sound experiments to inventions of musical instruments, from essay writing to systematic study of the most diverse doctrines that range from occult to philosophy to oriental disciplines. Two interesting lists written by his wife Maria Zanovello in November 1956 – now kept in the Mart’s Archivio del ’900 in Rovereto – allow us to know what Russolo used to read as they enumerate in an orderly and precise manner all volumes belonged to him. These lists are updated at about ten years after the artist’s death, when the total number of texts was exactly 608. The two lists allow us to gain greater awareness of what were Russolo’s studies, what really were his passions and interests. Even more interesting is to note that some volumes offer inspirational considerations on certain iconographic choices he made on some of his paper or canvas works. Others, moreover, are able to motivate some topics deepened by Russolo (also as an essayist) and, at the same time, provide a theoretical background to any kind of experimentation that kept him constantly busy in all fields of knowledge he explored.
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