Oil and collage on cardboard, 81×54 cm

Signed and dated lower right P. Conti 1918

It trudges laboriously uphill this Village Road, where figures camp out with grotesque movements. It retains something of the fairy-tale, even where the dramatic lines, the predominance of black take on an aggressive fierceness, a Goyesque sense of funereal seduction. The subject is typically Tuscan and can be found in Soffici or Rosai, but compared to the former a darting and sinister irony dominates here, and compared to the latter the universe opens up, there enters, like a motif of hovering music, the echo of an accordion that interrupts not only the rigidity of the composition, but its gloomy closure. Of particular note is the childish graffiti that appears on the right-hand masonry, introducing a note of fresh grace that refers, again, to poetic art.