L'assalto al forte di Vigliena e l'Antonio Toscani di Francesco Jerace, storia di una rivoluzione ideale. Nuovi documenti e testimonianze critiche
In: Studi e Ricerche del Parco Archeologico di Pompei: 43, 2020
The focus of this contribution is the plaster statue of Antonio Toscani in Vigliena, made in 1889 by the Calabrian sculptor Francesco Jerace (1853-1937), as a model of a monument that should have been erected on the ruins of the Forte di Vigliena at the gates of Naples. A particular episode of the Neapolitan Revolution in 1799, forgotten by ancient and modern historical treatments, but recovered through the celebration of its protagonist, a young Calabrian hero who, trying to defend the Republic, blew up the fort to prevent the entrance in the city by the Sanfedista army, driven by Cardinal Fabrizio Ruffo, who takes side in favor of the Bourbon monarchy. Antonio Toscani (this was his real surname) and most of members of the Calabrian Legion (who controlled the fort under his command), died in that occasion together with many other enemy soldiers, also them from Calabria. The genesis of the sculpture and its presentation in some important exhibitions of the time (the double ‘private’ exhibition inside the artist’s studio in Naples, 1889 and 1890), the Palermo National Exhibition of 1891-1892 and, finally, the Venice International Exposition of 1909, where Jerace had the privilege of a personal room) they are reconstructed by the contemporary critical texts, the historical recovered memories and some of unpublished letters found in a private archive. Never realized into other material, the plaster statue of Antonio Toscani in Vigliena is now located in Naples, in the Civic Museum of Castel Nuovo.