Faces from the 1960s and 1970s
This section of the Century contains a series of key figures of the 1960s and early 1970s from Britain, France, Germany and Italy which Topolski has combined in a characteristic series of contrasts. Topolski was commissioned to produce images of the famous OktoberFest in Munich in southern Germany, which he includes in the Century.
At the time he commented on “the undying spirit of Nazism” he found there. France is symbolised by fashion designer Coco Chanel, statesman Charles de Gaulle and an impression of the South of France. Pope John XXIII and his Swiss Guards are also included. The Century then features portraits of two Italians for whom Topolski had huge admiration — his friend the publisher and left wing activist Giangiacomo Feltrinelli and film director and writer Pier Paolo Pasolini.
Both men died suddenly in violent circumstances in the first half of the 1970s and Topolski has painted them into the Century as a tribute.
The contrasting faces of Britain are represented by Lord Mountbatten, last Viceroy of India and girls from ‘swinging London’.