Map of the Popular Italian Costumes.
Calderini, Emma & Zimelli, Umberto
Date of Creation:
"Not one single Italian tradition has been allowed to die out" (text on verso).
A beautiful map with a serious purpose, published in the 12th year of the Fascist Era: “as a matter of absolute certainty, all the costumes here illustrated, as well as many others omitted for lack of space, still survive and as they form part of the people’s life there is no likelihood of their dying out. Although at present all Italians are mainly concerned with the future, they have never felt the need of discarding anything that traditionally represents beauty and good taste, art and gracefulness… Italian youth nowadays dedicates all its energies to manifestations of a political, sporting and cultural character created and encouraged by Fascism and responding to changed needs and preferences. But, after having seen young men taking part in military and civil celebrations, or indulging in athletic contests and students’ competitions, one will find them displaying the same energy and enthusiasm in the revival of traditional old festivals and pageants”.
When Mussolini came to power in 1922, he was the first of the 20th-century Europe’s fascist dictators. Initially hailed as a “genius and a superman by public figures worldwide. His achievements were considered little less than miraculous. He had transformed and reinvigorated his divided and demoralized country” (Britannia online).
Emma Calderini is credited as costume designer for a number of films from the 1940s onwards and later for television. Umberto Zimelli, a set designer, was also commissioned by the ENIT in 1931 to design a poster intended to promote Italian gastronomic specialties to foreigners, assigning to each region an ornamental lozenge indicating its dishes and products.