Carlo Carrà Carlo Carrà
From 4th October 2018 through 3rd February 2019, a major exhibition will take place at Palazzo Reale dedicated to Carlo Carrà (1881 - 1966), one of the greatest 20th century masters, and one of the most prominent artists of Italian art and modern European painting. His indelible mark and vital style can be recognised throughout his artistic production.
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From 4th October 2018 through 3rd February 2019, a major exhibition will take place at Palazzo Reale dedicated to Carlo Carrà (1881 - 1966), one of the greatest 20th century masters, and one of the most prominent artists of Italian art and modern European painting. His indelible mark and vital style can be recognised throughout his artistic production. This is the most comprehensive and important anthological exhibition ever made of the works by Carlo Carrà, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity bringing together about 130 works, loaned from the most important Italian and international public and private collections.

Promoted and produced by the Municipality of Milan, Palazzo Reale, and Civita Mostre, the exhibition is curated by Maria Cristina Bandera, an expert of Carrà and the scientific director of the Roberto Longhi Foundation in Florence, with the collaboration of Luca Carrà, nephew of the master, photographer and in charge of Carlo Carrà’s archive. This exhibition is part of the programme “Novecento Italiano” promoted by the Department for Culture of the Municipality of Milan for the entire 2018 and dedicated to Italy’s artistic and cultural expressions in the 20th century.

“The exploration of the Italian Novecento, to which the Municipality of Milan has dedicated our cultural programme in 2018, continues in autumn with this important retrospective exhibition that pays tribute to an Italian master of the first half of the century, and a leading representative of European modern painting, who chose our city as the seat of his lively creative and professional activity”, stated Filippo Del Corno Councillor for Culture. “It is an important exhibition, with over 130 works on display, through which Palazzo Reale retraces the history of Carra’s artistic and life journey, characterised by his constant ability to open up to new artistic horizons while maintaining a continuous dialogue with contemporary artistic styles and expression trends”.

This exhibition takes place thirty years after the one dedicated to Carrà by the City of Milan (1987) and fifty-six years since the one also organized at Palazzo Reale, back in 1962, under the presidency of Roberto Longhi, when Carrà was still alive.

The one in 1962 paid generous tribute to the Master who in 1954 had been awarded with the Good Citizen Gold Medal and who, when still very young, had decided to move to live and work in Milan. This proper recognition – in full Milanese tradition - followed the 1942 tribute to Carrà with the exhibition held at Pinacoteca di Brera during one of World War II most dramatic times.

This new exhibition aims to reconstruct the master’s entire artistic trajectory through his most significant works, including but not limited to the early Divisionist attempts, his great masterpieces making him a leading representative and pacesetter of Futurism and Metaphysics; paintings attributable to his so-called 'plastic values', then, from the 1920s, landscapes and still lives attesting to his return to reality, with a thematic approach he would actively pursue throughout his life. The exhibition will also highlight his great figure compositions, especially those painted in the 1930s, the decade when he also painted the frescoes for the Court of Milan, documented in the exhibition by some large size preparatory cartoons.

“With this exhibition on Carrà commissioned by the Municipality of Milan at Palazzo Reale, visitors will be able to retrace his long, articulated and courageous artistic journey; to widen their view in order to better understand this painter within the international scenario of those times, while looking at his work with the eyes of today; to understand his artistic temperament and great passion for painting and culture he cherished through the last days of his long life; to understand his role as a pacesetter and real promoter of avant-garde movements in different European capitals, his ability to turn the page and take up new paths, to turn to the past with a modern spirit and with a forward looking attitude, his constant will to rethink, review and strip reality of the appearances and get to its essence, and, finally, its artistic performance so closely linked to the traditional values ​​of the great Italian painting tradition, namely a calibrated sense of space and absolute mastery in the use of colours, or rather, quoting Roberto Longhi, his "chromatic dominants", explained Maria Cristina Bandera.

The exhibition presents over 130 works loaned from some of the world's largest collections such as the State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow, the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art in London, the Kunsthaus in Zurich, Yale University Art Gallery, the Národní galerie in Prague, the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest and the Vatican Museums, as well as from numerous Italian museums, including Pinacoteca di Brera, MART in Rovereto, Museo del Novecento in Milan, Gallerie degli Uffizi of Florence, as well as from many private collections. The exhibition is thus reconstructing the dense network of intellectual affinities and privileged relations that linked Carlo Carrà to his collectors and friends. He was indeed a restless artist, and a great traveller who, when still very young, went to Paris and then to London. In his life he would meet and become friends with other important artists, such as Apollinaire and Picasso; always open to new cultural trends he was a verified bookworm, which landed him reviewer jobs with some of the most important and trendy magazines of his time, like La Voce, Lacerba and above all L'Ambrosiano".

Finally, in addition to his works of art, the exhibition also highlights the most significant features and moments of what Carrà himself defined as a ‘passionate life’. Documents, photographs, letters and numerous videos will be displayed, testifying to Carlo Carrà’s intense life, personally reported in his autobiographic book La mia vita that he published in 1942. Further, for the first time ever, a 1952 video directed by Piero Portaluppi documenting the life of Carrà with the words of Roberto Longhi will be shown at the exhibition. This video was rediscovered thanks to a research project by Andrea Scapolan, who also followed its restoration carried out by CSC - Cineteca Nazionale.

An audio guide available to all visitors will accompany them through the various sections with an easy to follow and engaging story, and with the soundtrack of Alfredo Casella’s chamber music, another friend of Carrà.

The exhibition features 7 sections, each of them illustrating a specific period in the life and style of the great master: Between Divisionism and Futurism; Primitivism; Metaphysics; Back to nature; Central Role of the Human Figure; His last years; Portraits. In this way, the exhibition path seamlessly and consistently marks the various stages of a life entirely dedicated to painting: “My painting is made of some variable and some constant elements. The variable elements include theoretical principles and aesthetic ideas, while the constant ones refer to the construction of the painting itself. Actually, I believe that it is not possible to express pictorial feelings without, above all, taking into account these architectural elements on which all other figurative values of form and colour depend. On top of this, the principle of spatiality must be added, not to be confused with perspectivism; since the value of spatiality has never, so to speak, visual origins. In my painting, this concept is a fundamental expression.” (Carlo Carrà, 1962)

The exhibition catalogue is a prestigious book published by Marsilio Editori which comes with a music CD "In Casella’s living room: Chamber music by Alfredo Casella, Collector of Carlo Carrà" produced by Concerto Classics. The milieu in which Carrà’s artistic talent developed and flourished is investigated and thoroughly illustrated with a musical narration of Carrà’s relationship with his time and with Alfredo Casella, who was his greatest collector – out of esteem and pure friendship and not out of personal wealth.


Information Sheet


Carlo Carrà


Milan, Palazzo Reale

Duration of Exhibition

4th October 2018 – 3rd February 2019

Curated by

Maria Cristina Bandera
In collaboration with Luca Carrà

An exhibition by
Municipality of Milan – Culture
Palazzo Reale
Civita Mostre

Marsilio Editori

Exhibition Setting Design
A+G AchilliGhizzardiAssociati

For more information about the exhibition
(Monday through Friday 9.00 am - 6.00 pm; Saturday 9.00 am - 12.00 am)
From abroad: 02.89096942

Opening hours

Monday 2.30 pm - 7.30 pm,
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday 9.30 am - 7.30 pm,
Thursday and Saturday 9.30 am - 10.30 pm
Ticket office closes one hour before exhibition closing time

Tickets (audioguide included)

Open 16 €
Standard € 14.00: 2 x 1 formula for holders of Frecce Trenitalia railway ticket with destination Milan (visit of the exhibition within 5 days from the date of travel) and / or for Cartafreccia holders
Discounted € 12.00: for groups of at least 15 people, visitors up to the age of 26 and over 65, teachers, disabled individuals, military, law enforcement personnel when not on duty, members of FAI and Touring Club, ticket holders participating in the "Lunedì Musei" events (Poldi Pezzoli Museum and La Scala Theatre Museum), and holders of special concessions

€ 10 Discounted special ticket for holders of Lombardy Museums membership, Orticola Members with a card valid for the current year
€ 10 Family ticket per person for one or two adults, € 6 for children aged 6 to 14, free for children up to 5 years

€ 6.00 Special discount for all types of schools, groups organised directly by Touring Club and FAI, ATM annual subscribers and employees, non-accredited journalists, employees of the Municipality of Milan and National Civil Service Volunteers working for the Municipality of Milan

Free for children under 6, one group leader, two accompanying teachers per school class, one accompanying person, if needed, of disabled individuals, journalists accredited with the municipal or exhibition Press Office, licensed tourist guides, holders of ICOM card, employees of the Landscape and Architectural Heritage Service of Milan, members of the Supervision and Fire Brigade Board


Booking fees

€ 1.50 per person
€ 1.00 per student and for discounted family tickets.


Booking guided tours, schools, individual visitors and families

(Monday to Friday 9.00 am – 6.00 pm, Saturday 9.00 - 12.00)

When calling from abroad: 02.89096942


Booking educational activities for schools and families

Sezione Didattica Palazzo Reale 0288448046

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