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Italian Shrine

1946 Edward Reep Born: New York, New York 1918 Died: Bakersfield, California 2013 oil on canvas 30 1/4 x 36 1/4 in. (76.8 x 92.1 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the artist 1984.9 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 39A


Luce Center Label

Edward Reep painted Italian Shrine during his Guggenheim Fellowship in 1946 and considered it one of his best paintings. Reep based the scene on photo- graphs, notes, and sketches he took of an impromptu shrine in Bologna, Italy, as a combat artist during World War II. The shrine arose against the wall of a jail in the Piazza Nettuno, where a member of the Italian Resistance had been killed. The shrine initially contained an Italian flag, but citizens soon added a table with photographs, flowers, candles, and an ornate wrought metal cross, and so it became a memorial to all who had lost their lives fighting for liberation from Nazi occupation. During World War II, nearly 2,500 Bolognese citizens were killed in heavy bombings of the city and an additional 2,000 Resistance fighters died. Today, a permanent shrine stands on the site.

Keywords

Architecture Interior - detail - window

Emblem - cross

Ethnic - Italian

Still life - art object - painting

Still life - art object - photograph

Still life - flower

Still life - furniture - table

Still life - other - flag

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

About Edward Reep

Born: New York, New York 1918 Died: Bakersfield, California 2013

More works in the collection by
Edward Reep