Periferia by Mario Sironi became part of the heritage of the Capuchin Museum in Milan with the Rusconi Collection in 2019.
The years in which Sironi creates Urban Landscapes are those immediately after the First World War. For years they have seen the artist busy painting many suburbs of Milan, the city he moved to permanently in 1919.
Milan provokes him "disgust" as he himself writes to his wife Matilde, but at the same time he needs to bring back the monumentality and glory in his paintings, painting the architecture of the time that is contemporary to him. Urban landscapes metaphorically represent the will to rebuild after the world conflict, both in a concrete and an ideal sense. There is a need for body, material, and this is why the city is not the subject of the painting but its architecture, forms and solidity that they express and then contrast with the "tragic" of the further elements of the painting. Perhaps this is why its buildings, its cities need stability and harmony, to free themselves from any frills to arrive at a synthesis.
The city of Sironi is an incredible simplification of forms that combines classic firmitas with a modern style inspired by the lessons of Aldo Rossi's rationalist architecture.
1922 saw Sironi being one of the souls of the newborn artistic group of the twentieth century, supported by Margherita Sarfatti. The “modern classicism” built according to harmonious proportions and the painting of things to immobilize them in eternity, according to the Platonic and idealist suggestions of the time, are transported with a certain rigor in the series of Urban Landscapes.
The shapes of the periphery of the Rusconi collection have a vertical trend, the looming side buildings are a scenography that opens, leaving space in a central position for a chimney that with its height creates a vertical line in the painting, continued by two characters without identity and faceless which are located in the lower part.
The volumes of the buildings are hewn like sculptures and strong, the tones are those of gray.