Concept

Carlo Levi

Summary
Carlo Levi (ˈkarlo ˈlɛːvi) (29 November 1902 – 4 January 1975) was an Italian painter, writer, activist, independent leftist politician, and doctor. He is best known for his book Cristo si è fermato a Eboli (Christ Stopped at Eboli), published in 1945, a memoir of his time spent in exile in Lucania, Italy, after being arrested in connection with his political activism. In 1979, the book became the basis of a movie of the same name, directed by Francesco Rosi. Lucania, also called Basilicata, was historically one of the poorest regions of the impoverished Italian south. Levi's lucid, non-ideological and sympathetic description of the daily hardships experienced by the local peasants helped to propel the "Problem of the South" into national discourse after the end of World War II. Levi was born in Turin, Piedmont, to wealthy Jewish physician Ercole Levi and Annetta Treves, the sister of Claudio Treves, a socialist leader in Italy. He graduated from high school (Liceo Alfieri) in 1917, and then attended the University of Turin, where he studied medicine and graduated in 1924 with high marks. While at university, Levi had become friends with Piero Gobetti who sparked his interests in political activism that would continue throughout his life. Soon after graduation from the University of Turin, Levi exhibited some of his works at the XIV Venice Biennale. Levi never completely abandoned his medical studies and served as assistant to Professor Micheli at the University of Turin's Clinic from 1924 to 1928, working on research involving hepatopathy and diseases of bile tract. During the same period, Levi continued his specialization studies in Paris with Professor Bourguignon among others, although by 1927 he had decided to dedicate his life to painting. Levi's early time in Paris, as a painter and as a student of medicine, brought him into contact with many notable personalities of the 20th century, including Sergei Prokofiev, Igor Stravinsky, Alberto Moravia, Giorgio de Chirico, and others.
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