Deed of gift

22 December 1923

“Not only every home I have ever furnished, not only every room I have ever carefully composed, but every object I have ever chosen and collected during the different seasons of my life have always been for me a way of expressing myself, have always been for me a path of spiritual revelation, like one of my poems, like one of my tragedies, like any one of my political or military deeds, like any one of my testimonies of unswerving and upright faith.
For this reason, I dare offer the Italian people everything that I own and everything I shall purchase or increase from today on through my renewed work, not a sizeable inheritance of richness but a naked legacy of the immortal spirit.
Formerly a vain celebrator of renowned palaces and sumptuous villas, I have come to enclose my sober intoxication and my musical silence in this old farmhouse, not so much to mortify myself as to submit my virtue to a more difficult trial of its power to create and transfigure.
All that is here, truly, has been created and transfigured by myself.
All that is here reveals the traces of my style with the significance I wish to give to my style.
My love for Italy, my cult of memory, my aspiration to heroism, my foreshadowing of the future fatherland, are manifested here in the elaboration of line, in every chord or discord of colour.
Do the relics of our war not bleed here once again? And do the surviving stones of our glorious cities not speak or sing here?
Here each coarse scrap is set as if it were a precious gem.
The great tragic bow of the “Royal Ship Puglia” has a place of honour and light on the knoll, as the bloodied remnant of my heroic companion can be found in the Oratory.
And here my scholarly books are placed not to be covered in dust, but to live; in such a number and of such worth that they perhaps surpass any other library belonging to any other solitary scholar.
Hence everything here is a form of my mind, an aspect of my soul, proof of my fervour.
Thus, when death gives my body to my beloved Italy, may I be permitted to preserve the best of my life in this offering to my beloved Italy”.