Bad art speaks for itself, but this is even worse.
Other than the hideous colors in this fresco, located in the Madonna della Difesa Church in Montreal, there is something else even more disturbing about it.
From Fabrizio Bernardi:
Mussolini in Montreal
10 Novembre 2021 di Fabrizio Bernardi
The picture shown in this entry is from a fresco in a church in the Italian neighbourhood “le Petit Italie” in Montreal. The church is named “Madonna della Difesa” and was build up in 1919 by Italian immigrants, mostly from Molise. The fresco dates back to 1933 and celebrates “i Patti Lateranensi”, the agreement between the Italian state and the Vatican, when the Vatican finally recognized the Italian State in exchange to a mass of privilege for the Catholic Church in Italy. In the fresco one can see Mussolini riding a horse and, on the left in the back, the Pope XI, who signed the agreement.
Oh dear, and it gets worse.
Beyond its iconographic interest, the fresco of Mussolini is dense of historical meaning. At the time it was painted, 1933, Mussolini was at the apogee of his international popularity. He was highly admired by most of the state leaders who later became palatines of the war against Nazism and Fascism. He was celebrated by newspapers in USA, for instance the New York Time, and had been defined as the “man of the Providence” by the Pope himself. It is against the backdrop of this worldwide popularity that his emigrated compatriots in Montreal commissioned a fresco of him in their church. When liberal democracy champions paid homage to Mussolini, all the authoritarian traits of Fascism were already in place. While the quality of the fresco leaves much to be desired, it represents very well the blindness, complicity and self-destructive attraction of the so-called liberal democracies with Fascism.
Although your Tatler believes the best fate for this ghastly horror is painting it over in a nice neutral beige, on the other hand, it does serve a useful purpose in showing the limits of papal infallibility. Protestants often ridicule that doctrine, claiming that Catholics believe popes can never err or sin. Far from it. Popes, can and do fail on matters secular, sometimes spectacularly, such as Pius XI’s most unfortunate deal made with the fascists. Cover this monstrosity up or, if the church’s budget permits, replace it with beautiful art which can still be had in these ugly times.
With thanks to GWR.