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The Archbishop of Gaeta, Admirals Simonetti and Sirianni with Dora Ohflsen and others at the dedication of the Formia war memorial by Dora Ohlfsen

(18 Jul 1926)


Adolfo Porry-Pastorel

1888 - 1960


Through the patronage of her friend, Duke Fulco Tosti di Valminuta, Dora Ohlfsen was entrusted with the design for a war memorial at the naval base of Formia, near Naples. She began work on the memorial in 1923, and received no payment. The memorial was dedicated on 18 July 1926 in the presence of the Admiral of the Italian fleet, the Archbishop of Gaeta and a number of war veterans.
The main sculptural element of the memorial - the figure of Sacrifice - is an Italian youth, typified as a vital young soldier leaping forward to offer himself in sacrifice. Ohlfsen intended to evoke in plastic form a verse from Leopardi’s poem ‘To Italy’:

O my country, the life thou gavest me
I now return to thee.

On one side of the large pedestal block supporting this figure is another, female figure. She faces inward, holding a palm of victory in the left hand and a laurel branch in the right, over the names of fallen soldiers from the First World War.

In this photograph, taken at the dedication of the memorial, Ohlfsen stands next to Tosti di Valminuta, who is dressed in his naval uniform.


Place where the work was made

Formia Lazio Italy


(18 Jul 1926)

Media category


Materials used

copy print of a gelatin silver photograph


13.0 x 18.0 cm image/sheet

Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


National Art Archive. Gift of Dora Stanford 1995


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Adolfo Porry-Pastorel

Works in the collection


Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history