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Still Life on a Table: "Duo pour flûte"
Georges Braque
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The collection label of Italian cotton merchant Gianni Mattioli (1903–1977) appears on the backboard of Braque's Still Life on a Table: "Duo pour flute" (1913–14), which Mattioli acquired in 1951. Frustrated that Italian museums showed little interest in contemporary art, Mattioli set out to form his own museum-quality collection. In 1949, he purchased the Italian lawyer Pietro Feroldi's collection of 79 paintings and 8 sculptures, which Feroldi had selected to emphasize the relationship between Italian modernists and French Post-Impressionists. Within a few years, Mattioli had sold off more than half of that collection in order to concentrate on Italian modern artists. In 1950, he collaborated with Christian Zervos on an edition of Cahiers d'Art dedicated to Italian artists of the twentieth century.

Mattioli energetically cultivated appreciation for modern Italian art both in Italy and abroad. He opened his apartment on the Via Senato, Milan, for public viewings every Sunday morning. He also toured the collection. Still Life on a Table: "Duo pour flute" was included in the first exhibition of Mattioli's collection at Palazzo Strozzi, Florence (1953), and again at the Galeria d'arte moderna (GAM) in Turin (1959). During the late 1960s–early 1970s, his collection was displayed in the United States, Western Europe, and Japan.

For more information, see:

Jozefacka, Anna. “Index of Historic Collectors and Dealers of Cubism: Mattioli, Gianni.” In Leonard A. Lauder Research Center for Modern Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. (January 2015)

Rossi, Laura Mattioli. "The Collection of Gianni Mattioli from 1943–1953." In Fergonzi, Flavio, The Mattioli Collection: Masterpieces of the Italian Avant-garde, pp. 12–61. Skira: Milan, 2003.

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