The Sitwells at Montegufoni
A lecture by Mark Roberts
In 1909 Sir George Sitwell bought the vast and crumbling castle of Montegufoni, on the via Volterrana south-west of Florence. For much of the 20th century it became the Italian base for his three children, Edith, Osbert and Sacheverell, who enjoyed fame (and some notoriety) in London as the centre of a fiercely modernist artistic circle. They commissioned Gino Severini to paint some avant garde frescoes there, and it acted as the backdrop for their Italian activities. During the war the castle was used to store paintings from the Uffizi and Pitti galleries. Towards the end of Osbert’s life, uncertainty over the eventual fate of the castle was a source of anxiety to the rest of the family. Mark Roberts unravels the story of the Sitwells’ association with Montegufoni.
The three Sitwell siblings Edith, Osbert and Sacheverell enjoyed fame (and some notoriety) in London as the centre of a fiercely modernist artistic circle. They all lived at various times in the castle of Montegufoni, to the south-west of Florence, which had been bought by their father Sir George. Mark Roberts traces the sometimes surprising story of the family’s association with their Tuscan retreat.
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