Salute to the Fallen

I am just back from an art exhibition held in the Gallerie d’Italia in Milan. Its name is “La Grande Guerra – Arte e artisti al fronte“, it last until August 23, 2015. If you’ve a chance to visit it, don’t hesitate (and it’s free!). I’ve taken several pictures of the works displayed, let’s start with a painting done by an old friend of this blog: Giulio Aristide Sartorio. In this painting, he shows the last salute to a fallen soldier on the Adamello front, before his corpse is being brought in the valley.

2015-04-04 17.05.31

The death of Cesare Battisti, as imagined by the Domenica del Corriere

Once again, I’ve chosen to show you how Achille Beltrame, the prolific author of thousands of covers of the Domenica del Corriere weekly, works on the representation of recent events without having any photographic source. The event is of course the execution of Cesare Battisti (12 July 1916). This cover was published on 30th July and it’s clear that the photographs of his execution were not yet available in Italy.


Indeed, his execution is represented in a very “traditional” way, whereas we know that the reality was very different:

– In the drawing, Battisti is hanged, whereas he was garroted

– In the drawing, Battisti wears his uniform whereas he was given civilian clothes

– The executioners seem strangely elegant in the drawing

– In the drawing, Austrian officers are staring silently to Cesare Battisti, they look impressed by his attitude. We know that during his execution Battisti was laughed at by Austrian officers, privates and civilians.