Since July 2022, the painting “Il Quarto Stato” by Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo has again been on display in the permanent collection of the GAM-Galleria d’Arte Moderna in Milan.
The new display – which was officially presented during a conference in the presence of the Councillor for Tourism Tommaso Sacchi – enhances the pictorial quality and disruptive power of the work: visitors will be able to get within a few steps, establishing an exciting direct relationship with the masterpiece. Characterised by a pictorial technique of extraordinary skill and complexity, the painting is exhibited between the room dedicated to Giovanni Segantini and the one dedicated to Gaetano Previati, where “Maternity”, granted on loan for the next three years by Banco BPM, is visible. The overall path of the three works admirably expresses the passage of painting from the 19th to the 20th century.

An emblematic work from an artistic, technical and social point of view, “Il Quarto Stato” is the masterpiece par excellence by Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo (1868-1907).
The scene, set in a square in the painter’s hometown, depicts the protest of a group of workers, whose march towards a bright future reclaims the cohesive force and dignity of labour from which the redemption of the people must start. The realisation of the painting required the painter a long period of study that lasted ten years.
A masterpiece of Italian painting, it is painted with small touches, lines of pure colours ‘divided’, resulting in a dense pattern of filamentous brushstrokes. For this reason, Pellizza da Volpedo is considered one of the main representatives of Divisionism, together with Segantini and Previati.