Giovanni Casini

Courtauld Institute of Art

Project title: Léonce Rosenberg and the Galerie De L’Effort Moderne: A Syncretic View of French Art During The 1920s.

Supervised by Professor Christopher Green.

The French dealer Léonce Rosenberg is best known for his defence and promotion of Cubism after the end of the First World War. He redefined Cubism setting up an astonishing series of exhibitions held from December 1918 to June 1919 in his Galerie de l’Effort Moderne located on 19, rue de la Baume, Paris. The Platonic interpretation of the movement he put forward in two pamphlets he published in 1920 and 1921, ‘Le Cubisme et la Tradition’ and ‘Cubisme et Empirisme’ present Rosenberg as a much more complex figure than that of a bottom-line businessman. However, his role in the Parisian art market was not limited to that short period of time, and the full extent of his contributions to modern art in the 1920s has yet to be examined. In this dissertation, I will explore the range of Rosenberg’s activities as a dealer from 1918 until the Stock Market Crash of 1929, during which time he represented many of the seminal figures in the European avant-garde such as Juan Gris, Fernand Léger, Gino Severini and Giorgio de Chirico. Taking into account not only the activities of his gallery but also his publishing initiatives and his relationships with “his” artists, this research aims to show that Rosenberg had a definite idea of what he expected modern art to achieve. This thesis will analyse whether and how he exerted a significant impact on “his” artists and whether he was responsible for significant changes of direction in their work, directly influencing important episodes in the history of modernism.


Research interests


  • Modernism in France and Italy
  • Art Market
  • The 1950s in Italy, France and England
  • Monochrome Painting
  • Richard Hamilton

Conference papers and lectures

  • Il sistema dell’arte in Francia tra le due guerre: mercanti, galleristi, collezionisti, Institut Francais, Florence, 8 May 2015.


Recent publications


  • G. Casini, ‘Richard Hamilton at the Slade School of Fine Art (1948–51) and his ‘abstract’ paintings of the early 1950s’, The Burlington Magazine, n. 1350 (September 2015), Vol. 157, pp. 623-630.
  • G. Casini, ‘Henry Moore, Michael Ayrton and Giovanni Pisano: the Reception of Medieval Sculpture’, Sculpture Journal, vol. 23, n. 3 (2014), pp. 379-392.
  • G. Casini, ‘5 pittori alla Galleria La Salita: il problema della pittura monocroma a Roma intorno al 1960’, Studi di Memofonte, 9 (2012), pp. 38-64.


Other academic activity


  • Member of the Research Forum Postgraduate Advisory Group, Courtauld Institute of Art