During the seventeenth century Rome saw, with the Baroque, the rise of an anti-Roman, anti-classical art, which marks the triumph of color in sculpture, painting and architecture. It is in vain that Sacchi, a cold and calm composer, opposes the driving current; Poussin, transparent coloring of sunny classical scenes, purist of the composition; the Bolognese school, swaying between the soft sensualism of the new times and the hidden classicism of the Carraccis: color prepares, with its dazzling waves, the advent of a new era. The Church has overcome the danger that was threatening it: the Reformation; Luther’s shadow withdraws from Rome, and the joy of triumph is celebrated in the pomp of life, customs and art.
Soul of the century is Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the magnificent and tireless improviser, the prodigal lord of the seventeenth century, who cloaked the new Rome with gold, precious marbles, flying drapes. Since, as a young man, he sculpted, or rather, it could be said, he colored the impressionistic head of his David, when, already almost an old idea, the statuary tumult of the Panfilia fountain expresses the pictorial tendency of its century in marble. The effect is obtained, in the church of Sant’Andrea al Quirinale, through the stucco decorations, the rich polychromy of the marbles, the sparkles of the gold in the light of the sun that enters victoriously through the windows open in the vault. Lorenzo Bernini, who knew all the audacity of seventeenth-century scenographies, of the swirling attitudes, however, at times knew how to hold back, deepen, concentrate. Thus in the monument of Urban VIII he did not depart from the pyramid line; and, in the colonnade of San Pietro, the man of the twisted columns, of the capricious capitals, chose the Doric column, the most severe of all that art has created, precisely because simplicity in the immense work meant grandeur.
We observe how only in Asia the number of Italians has decreased, but it is a very small contingent (0.22% in 1911; 0.10% in 1927); in all other continents there is an increase, with the highest percentage in Oceania (+ 274%). Since these are very modest absolute figures (0.13% eo, 30% of the total), this increase is of no great importance, while the increase that took place in America is enormous. The Italian contingent rises from 4.7 million to 7.67.
America therefore holds the absolute and relative first place with 83.71% of Italians, but within the new continent the differences are profound: in all of Central America in 1927 only 6453 Italians lived; 3,914,416 lived in North America; 3,753,714 in South America. The United States, Brazil and Argentina excel, which alone absorb 95% of the total number of Italians in America and 79% of all Italians scattered around the world. It is precisely in these states that the greatest absolute increase occurs in the period 1911-1927: in the United States from 2,114,715 to 3,706,116; in Brazil from 1,500,000 to 1,839,579; in Argentina from 929,863 to 1,797,000. There is therefore an overall absolute increase equal to 2,798,117 individuals compared to 2,975,790 for the whole of America and 3,363,241 for the entire earth.
The increase in Europe represents just over 10% of the overall increase. We are faced with profound differences between state and state. The great decrease of the Italians in Germany, Austria and Hungary is due to the fact that the figures of 1927 refer to the current territories, considerably reduced following the war. The serious decrease that occurred for Switzerland (from 202,809 to 135,942) was also caused by a large repatriation of our compatriots during the war period, by a notable displacement of emigrants from Swiss territory, due to the unemployment crisis, towards France and Luxembourg, attracted by better working conditions, by the essentially temporary nature of our emigration to the republic.
But alongside these notable decreases is the very strong increase that occurred in France, where Italians rose from 419,234 to 962,593 individuals, with an absolute value of + 543,359 people! Also in Africa there is a certain increase caused entirely by higher immigration in the Mediterranean states (Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria); on the other hand, the quantity in the South African Union has decreased considerably.
The Italian colony in the United States is today the most powerful: towards the middle of 1927, it counted 3,706,116 individuals, of which 1,727,644 were born in Italy and 1,978,472 were born in the United States; of them 2.2 million were males and 1.5 million females.
According to USAERS.COM, the geographical distribution of Italians is very significant. The great geographical divisions had the following values:
We observe the clear prevalence of the states of the central and north Atlantic and those south of the Great Lakes. The states that presented the largest number of our compatriots were: New York with 1,210,000, Pennsylvania with 550,592; New Jersey with 435,000; Massachusetts with 260,500; Illinois with 195,804; Connecticut with 178,000; California with 167,760; Ohio with 119,501. It is precisely the typically industrial states, with the exception of California, in which our brothers live centralized in large urban agglomerations, dedicating themselves to traffic and industries. Thus, 860,000 Italians live in New York; in Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) 136,797; in Chicago (Illinois) 124,184; in Boston (Massachusetts) 77,106; in Albany (New York) 70,000; in S. Francisco (California) 55,000; in Buffalo (New York) 50,000, etc. The percentages relating to the Italian urban population speak for themselves: the largest nuclei correspond to very high numbers of urban population; to the more modest figures very low values (minimum of 35% in the mountain region). Overall, with regard to the professions and trades exercised, there were the following values: landowners and laborers 490,000; employees in industries and jobs varying 249,000; employees in various trades and professions 188,000; 178,000 farmers; trade and transport workers 150,000. employees in industries and jobs varying 249,000; employees in various trades and professions 188,000; 178,000 farmers; trade and transport workers 150,000. employees in industries and jobs varying 249,000; employees in various trades and professions 188,000; 178,000 farmers; trade and transport workers 150,000.