“Moses c’est le maître à nous tous”:
appartenenza e pluralità in Moses Levy, artista mediterraneo
The paper focuses on the artistic work of Moses Levy (Tunis, 1885 - Viareggio, 1968), painter and printmaker active in Italy, Tunisia and Paris. A peculiar figure of cosmopolitan painter, whose father was British and the mother Italian, and whose art eludes attempts at univocal classification. On the contrary, it remains emblematic of the fruitfulness made possible by the encounter between different artistic traditions, as well as the reciprocal enrichment offered by the plurality of cultures.
Deeply linked by birth to the Jewish community in Tunis, he moved to Italy at a very young age, where he came into contact with the major exponents of the Tuscan school of painting around the turn of the century, starting with Giovanni Fattori. Constantly commuting between the two shores of the Mediterranean, he became an example of dialogue between different worlds, between his African roots, his Tuscan upbringing, his French-speaking culture and his stays in Paris, where he met Chagall and Picasso and could not fail to find a natural identification with Matisse’s pure rhythms and solar charge. A regular exhibitor at the Salons Tunisiens, in 1936 he was a co-founder of the Le Quatre group and later one of the promoters of the École de Tunis. Thus, the local artists saw in Levy the master who had been able to promote the birth of a modern art that was representative of Tunisian culture and people, but free from any easy Orientalist stereotype or folkloric flavour.