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Matthew Gale

(b Florence, Oct 16, 1900; d Fiesole, Nov 13, 1988).

Italian painter. A child prodigy, he published music and exhibited paintings at the age of 13, and met Umberto Boccioni and Ardengo Soffici. He produced Fauvist works (e.g. Self-portrait in a Bathing Robe, 1915; Fiesole, Fond. Primo Conti) before forming a wartime Florentine Futurist group with Achille Lega (1899–1934) and Ottone Rosai. His dynamic paintings, such as Refugees at the Station (1918; Fiesole, Fond. Primo Conti), coincided with contributions to L’Italia futurista, of which he became editor before being called up in 1918. After World War I, Conti’s shifting interests were reflected in his periodicals Il centone (1919; edited with Corrado Pavolini (b 1898)) and L’enciclopedia (1920–23). He met Filippo de Pisis and developed a mysterious realism influenced by Pittura Metafisica, although it was the contemporary treatment of his Rape of the Sabines (1925; priv. col.; see 1980–81 exh. cat., p. 179) that caused controversy at the Rome Biennale of ...