Virginia Magnaghi

Winter - Spring 2021


Virginia Magnaghi is a Ph.D. candidate in Art History at the Scuola Normale Superiore (Pisa). Her doctoral research focuses on Italian landscape painting under Fascism (1920–1939), with special attention to the political implications of the realist issue when approaching nature. Urban views aside, her project aims to understand the role of nature as a pictorial, but also literary and cinematographic subject in Italy under the regime.

She attended both the Scuola Normale Superiore and the University of Pisa for her MA, defending a thesis on Raphael’s fortune among Italian critics and painters in the first half of the XX century. Raphael’s reception resulted being a very precious lens to differently approach Italian modern art history. An extract of the thesis is about to be published in the journal of the Academy of France in Rome (“Marea che si frange”? Raffaello nella critica e nell’arte italiana del primo Novecento, Studiolo, expected 2021) and she collaborated on the current exhibition on the reception of Raphael in the Accademia di San Luca in Rome (Raffaello. L’Accademia di San Luca e il mito dell’Urbinate, Roma, 2020-21). She previously graduated in Early Modern Art History at Ca’ Foscari University in Venice, after being a visiting student in Paris (Université Paris IV).

She is a contributor to Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, with entries on the landscape painters and engravers Francesco Vitalini, Giuseppe Viviani, and Teodoro Wolf-Ferrari (2020, and expected 2021).

As a fellow at CIMA, Virginia will study Mario Schifano’s early landscape paintings (1962–65), proposing to highlight their close relationship not only with photography and art in the US, but also with the Italian and European pictorial tradition. Her research project aims to investigate both the series Particolari (1962–64) and the first Paesaggi anemici (1964–65), re-weighing their pictorial characteristics and their possible sources. She is also interested in the ties between the canvases and the crucial drawings on paper, to finally reflect on the status of landscape between Rome and New York in the first half of the 1960s.

Besides her doctoral studies, her interest in contemporary art led to an article on the 58th Venice Biennale (La scelta come rinuncia seduttiva. Quattro casi di moltiplicazione visiva alla Biennale Arte 2019, ed. La Biennale di Venezia, 2020). She has also been following contemporary dance and theater, and she is a regular contributor for the journal of theater studies «Stratagemmi – Prospettive teatrali».