No Paradise for the Workers

Happy Festa del Lavoro! The picture is ‘Il Quarto Stato – The Fourth Estate (1901)’ by Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo. ┬áIt’s in the Museo del Novecento, Milan.

Originally titled “The Path of Workers”, this painting is ‘an icon of the twentieth century, depicting workers (members of the fourth estate) on strike marching towards the light, and painted in the “chromoluminarist” or divisionist style‘. The composition of the painting is balanced in ‘its shapes and vibrant in its light, giving the perfect idea of a mass movement, with equal space given to a woman with a baby in her arms marching with her co-workers’.

113 years later, the employment of Italian workers, or rather the lack of it, remains a political hot potato in Italy.

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