The confrontation with the archaic past remains a fundamental legacy for modern masters. Jean Arp looked to the Cycladic Venuses; Alberto Giacometti to Egypt, but also to the Etruscans; Joan Miró to the cultures of the Mediterranean, tribal statues and Majorcan pottery. In the background of a tension that Matisse nurtured towards synthesis and abstraction- as demonstrated by the artworks in the exhibit and in the metamorphosis of his subjects in a direction of extreme linearism- is suggested an ideal comparison with the artifacts of a prehistoric Sardegna: feminine statuettes transformed, in the span of decades, from the more natural and generous forms of the first mother deities, to an essentialism of the stroke, that drains the features in radical geometries and bears witness to the concept of the progressive abstraction of the images of past civilizations, from which the nineteen hundreds have drawn their sap.