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Annotated postcard depicting the war memorial at Formia by Dora Ohlfsen

August 1935


  • Details

    August 1935
    Media category
    Materials used
    9.0 x 14.0 cm
    Signature & date

    Signed bot.c, ink "D. Ohlfsen". Dated u.l.corner, pen "Aug 1935".

    National Art Archive. Gift of Dora Stanford 1995
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Dora Stanford

    Works in the collection


  • About

    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.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition