Levi, Carlo

Levi, Carlo

(kär`lō lā`vē), 1902–75, Italian writer and painter, noted as an anti-Fascist leader. After taking a medical degree, Levi devoted himself to painting, gaining international acclaim. His political activity in the 1920s resulted in his exile (1935–36) to the remote province of Lucania. His experiences there are described in Cristo si è fermato a Eboli (1945; tr. Christ Stopped at Eboli, 1947). While in France (1939–41) he wrote the essay Of Fear and Freedom (1946, tr. 1950). Levi's other works include The Watch (1948, tr. 1951) and The Linden Trees (tr. 1962), as well as studies of modern Italy, Sicily, and the USSR.

Levi, Carlo


Born Nov. 29, 1902, in Turin; died Jan. 4, 1975, in Rome. Italian writer, painter, and public figure.

Levi received an education in medicine. In 1935 he was sent into exile for antifascist activity. He participated in the resistance movement. In Christ Stopped at Eboli (1945; Russian translation, 1955), Levi wrote of the burdensome life of the peasantry under fascism. In his book of essays Words Are Stones (1955; Russian translation, 1957), Levi identified the radical change in the consciousness of the Sicilian poor who, in their struggle for their rights, become aware of their class solidarity. The Future Has an Ancient Soul (1956) is Levi’s diary of his journey to the “land of the future,” the USSR. In his book of essays The Honey Is All Gone (1964; Russian translation, 1966), Levi depicted the improvements in the life of the people of Sardinia in the postwar years.

In painting, Levi’s style developed in the 1920’s under the influence of fauvism and expressionism. In the 1930’s he aligned himself with the progressive art movement that was directed against official art. In the 1950’s, Levi became a prominent representative of the sociorealistic tendency. He created generalized images of peasants from Lucania (Children of the Witch, 1936; Three Peasants, 1955) and paintings whose subject was the heroic peasant struggle (The Mourning of Rocco Scotellaro, 1954). Levi was active in the progressive social movement in postwar Italy. In 1963 he was elected to the Senate as an independent, on the electoral roll of the Italian Communist Party.


La doppia notte dei tigli. Turin, 1959.


Germanetto, G. “Glazami khudozhnika.” Oktiabr’, 1956, no. 10.
Potapova, Z. M. Neorealizm v ital’ianskoi literature. Moscow, 1961.
Scaramucci, I. Romanzi del nostro tempo. Brescia, 1956.
Testaguzza, A. Carlo Levi, scrittore. Florence, 1969.
Falaschi, G. Levi. Florence, 1971. (Contains bibliography.)


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E impossibile non riconoscere in Giulia--come gia osservato (Vivarelli in Venturoli 37; Bini 109; Vivarelli in Levi, Carlo Levi e la Lucania 27)--una giovane madonna michelangiolesca, anche se in grembo non ha il corpo morto del Cristo, ma un piccolo bambino all'apparenza sano e paffuto.
Si veda il titolo di un quadro del 1935--Grassano come Gerusalemme--in Levi, Carlo Levi e la Lucania Fig.