Giovanni Casini - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Giovanni Casini

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Giovanni Casini

PhD student

Thesis: ‘Léonce Rosenberg and the Galerie De L’Effort Moderne: A Syncretic View of French Art During The 1920s’

Supervised by Christopher Green

Funded by

  • CHASE/AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership
  • Courtauld Scholarship 2016-17 (Lord Rothschild Scholarship)
  • Courtauld Scholarship 2015-16 (Lord Rothschild Scholarship; Alison Lorhfink Blood Scholarship, Edmond J. Safra Scholarship)
  • Courtauld Scholarship, 2014-2015 (The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Award, The Samuel H. Kress Foundation Award)

The French dealer Léonce Rosenberg is best known for his defence and promotion of Cubism after the end of the First World War. He redefined Cubism setting up an astonishing series of exhibitions held from December 1918 to June 1919 in his Galerie de l’Effort Moderne located on 19, rue de la Baume, Paris. The Platonic interpretation of the movement he put forward in two pamphlets he published in 1920 and 1921, ‘Le Cubisme et la Tradition’ and ‘Cubisme et Empirisme’ present Rosenberg as a much more complex figure than that of a bottom-line businessman. However, his role in the Parisian art market was not limited to that short period of time, and the full extent of his contributions to modern art in the 1920s has yet to be examined. In this dissertation, I will explore the range of Rosenberg’s activities as a dealer from 1918 until the Stock Market Crash of 1929, during which time he represented many of the seminal figures in the European avant-garde such as Juan Gris, Fernand Léger, Gino Severini and Giorgio de Chirico. Taking into account not only the activities of his gallery but also his publishing initiatives and his relationships with “his” artists, this research aims to show that Rosenberg had a definite idea of what he expected modern art to achieve. This thesis will analyse whether and how he exerted a significant impact on “his” artists and whether he was responsible for significant changes of direction in their work, directly influencing important episodes in the history of modernism.


  • 2014-present, PhD, The Courtauld Institute of Art
  • 2013-14, MA, Distinction, The Courtauld Institute of Art. Awarded the Director’s Prize for an Outstanding MA Dissertation.
  • 2012-14, MA, University of Pisa
  • 2009-14, Diploma, Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, Faculty of Humanities
  • 2009-12, BA, University of Pisa

Teaching Experience

  • MA Core Methodology Course (Autumn 2015)

Awards, Fellowships, Honours

  • The Guggenheim’s 2017-2018 Hilla Rebay International Fellow
  • Fall 2016 Fellow. Center for Italian Modern Art (CIMA), New York
  • The Courtauld Institute of Art Director’s Prize for an Outstanding MA Dissertation

Research interests

  • Modernism in France and Italy
  • Art Market
  • The 1950s in Italy, France and England
  • Monochrome Painting
  • Richard Hamilton

Selected Conferences, Lectures, and Symposia

  • ‘La “dittatura” di un mercante? Giorgio de Chirico, Léonce Rosenberg e il mercato dell’arte nella seconda metà degli anni Venti’. Casa-Museo Boschi Di Stefano, Milan, 15 June 2017.
  • ‘A dealer’s “dictatorship”? Giorgio de Chirico, Léonce Rosenberg, and the Parisian art market in the late 1920s.’ Annual Third Year Postgraduate Symposium, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, 8-9 June 2017.
  • ‘Giorgio de Chirico and Léonce Rosenberg: Aspects of the Parisian art market in the second half of the 1920s.’ Art and Identity: Rethinking the Construction and Reception of Giorgio de Chirico and Giulio Paolini, Center for Italian Modern Art (CIMA), New York, 18-19 May 2017
  • ‘The most perfect union of art and craft’: Gino Severini and the history of mosaic art.’ CAA 105th Annual Conference, New York, 15-18 February 2017.
  • ‘Gino Severini and Léonce Rosenberg: a commercial and intellectual exchange.’ The Courtauld Second Year Modern and Contemporary PhD Symposium, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, 20 May 2016.
  • ‘Le strategie di mercato di Léonce Rosenberg.’ Study day Il sistema dell’arte in Francia tra le due guerre: mercanti, galleristi, collezionisti, Institut Français, Florence, 8 May 2015.

Selected publications

  • G. Casini, ‘Gino Severini e Léonce Rosenberg: uno scambio commerciale e intellettuale per la difesa dell’arte moderna, 1917-21’, Ricerche di Storia dell’Arte, n. 120, pp. 29-36.
  • G. Casini, ‘Chronology’, in C. Green, ed., The Crystal in the Flame. Cubism and War, exh. cat., Barcelona: Museu Picasso, 2016, pp. 154-165.
  • G. Casini, ‘Richard Hamilton at the Slade School of Fine Art (1948–51) and his ‘abstract’ paintings of the early 1950s’, The Burlington Magazine, n. 1350 (September 2015), Vol. 157, pp. 623-630.
  • G. Casini, ‘Henry Moore, Michael Ayrton and Giovanni Pisano: the Reception of Medieval Sculpture’, Sculpture Journal, vol. 23, n. 3 (2014), pp. 379-392.
  • G. Casini, ‘5 pittori alla Galleria La Salita: il problema della pittura monocroma a Roma intorno al 1960’, Studi di Memofonte, 9 (2012), pp. 38-64.

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