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This article focuses on the intersections between recently politically emancipated Jewish painter Corcos and his representations of women in Liberal Italy in the paintings Annunciazione (1904) and Sogni (1896). In their subalternity, both Corcos and women inhabited a space of ‘in-betweenness’. Corcos lived and worked ‘in-between’ Catholicism and Judaism, as the painting Annunciazione demonstrates. Women in Liberal Italy lived ‘in-between’ the centre of the nation, as mothers of its children, and at the margins of it as individuals without political agency. Thus, the article highlights how Corcos’s diasporic identity is not dissimilar from that of women’s political condition as exiles in their own nation, as theorised by Friedrich Hegel. However, by transgressing patriarchal social conventions, tending to discipline women’s bodies in the public space, the painting Sogni points to a possible political agency that women might claim for themselves, precisely through the ‘impropriety’ of the woman’s bodily posture.


Accepted version. Italian Studies, Vol. 77, No. 4 (November 2022): 400-415. DOI. © 2022 Taylor & Francis (Routledge). Used with permission.

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