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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a realistic trend in late 19th-century Italian literature, music, and fine arts that strove to reflect the social and psychological conflicts of the contemporary national historical reality of a unified Italy, which had entered upon the path of capitalist development.

In literature verismo was subject to the contradictory influence of E. Zola’s theory of naturalism, the critical realism of French and Russian literature, and the ideas of the Italian socialist movement. The national originality of verismo lies in its profound sympathy for the oppressed working people, whose life (for the most part, that of peasants and poor people from the provinces) formed the basic content of the novels and short stories of the theoreticians of verismo—G. Verga, L. Capuana, D. Ciampoli, R. Fucini, M. Serao, and others. The verists introduced the language of the common people into literature, making extensive use of dialects; they also created a theater reflecting everyday life (the comedies of G. Rovetta and G. Giacosa); and they introduced a new content into poetry (L. Stecchetti, pseudonym of O. Guerrini, and A. Boito). Nevertheless, the verists failed to see the social potential for eliminating social injustice; hence their works were filled with motifs of doom and an overexaggeration of the role of physiology. The best traditions of verismo have been developed by modern, progressive Italian literature.

In music verismo became famous in operatic works. The social motifs characteristic of the literature of verismo were seldom developed in these operas. For the heroes of their works the composers chose rural folk, poor city dwellers, and representatives of bohemianism, and they concentrated on the drama of these characters’ personal lives, based for the most part on clashes over love affairs. The first examples of veristic opera were P. Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana (produced 1890) and R. Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci (produced 1892). More important achievements in operatic verismo were reached in the creative work of G. Puccini (for example, Manon Lescaut, produced 1893; La Bohème, produced 1896; Tosca, produced 1900; Madama Butterfly, produced 1904; and The Girl of the Golden West, produced 1910). The success of these veristic works was due to their theatrical effectiveness and melodically expressive music, which underscored the emotionality. Nevertheless, naturalistic tendencies, a melodramatic approach, a superficial, illusory quality, overexaggerated expression, and a predilection for monotonous melodization of the recitatives detracted from the fullness of the characterizations. Tendencies related to verismo existed in France (operas by A. Bruno and G. Charpentier’s Louise), Germany (E. d’Albert’s opera Tiefland) and other countries.

In the fine arts verismo was characterized by an interest in the lives of peasants and workers and significant sociocritical tendencies, but also by a pessimistic, at times passively naturalistic, acceptance of reality (the painters F. P. Michetti and G. Pellizza da Volpedo and the sculptors V. Vela and V. Gemito, for example).


In Russian translation:
Ital’ianskie novelly: 1869-1914. [Foreword by B. G. Reizov.] Moscow-Leningrad, 1960.


Gramsci, A. Letteratura e vita nazionale. Turin, 1950.
Marzot, G. “Il verismo.” In Questioni e correnti di storia letteraria. Milan, 1949.
Salinari, C. Storia popolare della letteratura italiana, vol. 3. Rome, 1962.
Rinaldi, M. Musica e verismo. Rome, 1932.
De Logu, G. Pittura italiana dell’ottocento. Bergamo [1955].
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Janacek was a contemporary of the crucial verismo composers, and the operas that struck him deeply include mostly verismo works.
It has been characterized as verismo opera and is frequently discussed in the context of late 19th century aesthetics.
Through the style of verismo, or the Italian literary version of naturalism, De Roberto depicts the general flaws of humankind, particularly humankind raised to believe in its innate superiority.
Respighi was a contemporary of the Italian verismo composers--Mascagni, Leoncavallo and Puccini--and he completed eight operas himself (none of which survives in the standard repertory) as well as a dozen other minor vocal works.
Adami Giuseppe, crisi postunitaria, frammentismo espressionista, Il tabarro, maschilita, maschilita egemone/maschilita subalterna, opera e gender, opera e men's studies, paesaggio sonoro, Puccini Giacomo, Tozzi Federigo, Verismo, virilismo
Ross, who spends extended periods in Italy honing his art, calls his particular style of painting "American Verismo," using an approach that blends abstraction and realism.
Verismo is worth supporting as he takes a big step up in trip in the Best Odds Guaranteed At Coral Median Auction Maiden Stakes.
Next to the petition were some of Starbucks' latest designer offerings--an $8.95 cinnamon-colored coffee mug, "Made in Thailand," and a $9.95 glossy gray one, "Made in China." Then there was the shiny new "Verismo System by Starbucks," priced at $149 and billed as both "Swiss Engineered" and "Made in China." Using pods, the Verismo System makes espressos, lattes, and regular coffee, light or bold.
The company also continues to expand in the at-home single cup coffee market with its Verismo machines that were introduced in September, priced at $199 or $399 for the high-end model that fit the K-cup single-serving coffee packs.
In September, Starbucks jumped on the single-cup machine bandwagon with a product of its own: Verismo. The machine - a premium-positioned product that uses exclusively designed pods to make coffee, lattes and more - produces drip coffee from coffee pods, espresso shots from espresso pods, and hot milk from milk pods.
Starting from 23 November 2012 through 26 November 2012, Starbucks' customers who purchase the Verismo System by Starbucks at participating stores, and select specialty retailers throughout the US will receive Starbucks Gold level status and all of the year-round rewards that come with it.