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Greta Garbo by Titina Maselli, 1964

Greta Garbo by Titina Maselli, 1964

Greta Garbo by Titina Maselli

Greta Garbo, one of Maselli’s two contributions to Florence, was painted in 1964. It is typical of her style as a major exponent of Pop Art. Restored and exhibited in 2016 as part of the ”Beyond Borders” exhibition at the Twentieth-century Museum, it was returned to storage as part of the Florentine Civic Collections. Maselli was often praised as having ample knowledge of up-to-the-minute artistic trends. Her rendition of the famed actress who took the Silver Screen by storm in the 1920s and 1930s captured much of Garbo's mystique. The artist's modern themes separated her from the exponents of the Roman School and Realism, but she did not fit in the ranks of geometric Abstractionists that abounded in Italy at the time. She is said to have received a 'classic education' and was surrounded by the art world since early childhood, because her father was art critic Ercole Maselli. During German occupation of Italy, the Maselli home was a base for militant anti-fascists and Jewish fugitives, who had escaped Nazi hands.

A legend amongst legends

A vintage photograph snapped at Venice's Biennale in 1964 proves Maselli is in good company.

Restoration: A question of perspective

Maselli's Garbo is daunting, once inside Rossella Lari's restoration studio.

A self-portrait of sorts?

The resemblance between Greta Garbo's gaze and that of Titina Maselli is nothing short of striking.