MUSEO DELLA FOLLIA - Antonio Ligabue Pietro Ghizzardi

curated by Vittorio Sgarbi
organized by Augusto Agosta Tota
with the scientific consulting of the Centro Studi & Archivio Antonio Ligabue di Parma



From 22 April to 23 October 2016 Castello Ursino in Catania will host the Museo della Follia. The exhibition brings together oil paintings, sculptures and drawings by Antonio Ligabue, paintings by Pietro Ghizzardi, sculptures by Cesare Inzerillo, and hundreds of works on the subject of madness created from the seventeenth century to the present time. Also on display are many documents: the history of Italian Law no. 180, a sort of Wunderkammer on a state of alienation, including straightjackets, electroshock machines, mouth-openers, drugs, portraits of psychiatric patients, the Senate inquiry on criminal psychiatric institutes and RAI TV documentaries.

The museum, which was conceived by Vittorio Sgarbi, was produced by Giovanni LettiniSara PallaviciniStefano Morelli and Cesare Inzerillo. The event is jointly produced by the City of Catania, the Centro Studi & Archivio Ligabue in Parma directed by Augusto Agosta Tota, Fenice - Company Ideas, and it is sponsored by the  Mibact (Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism).

Vittorio Sgarbi: “…A repertoire, without proclamations, without manifestations, without denunciations. Men and women like us, unfortunate, humiliated, isolated. And still alive in the unbelievable desperation of their gazes. Condemned yet without sin, indicted without having committed a crime but just for being different, that is to say, individual. Inzerillo sets the tone, inevitably evoking Sigmund Freud and Michel Foucault, and paves the way for an unprecedented acknowledgement, a poetry of madness that inspires young people in this experience. Sara Pallavicini, Giovanni Lettini and Stefano Morelli. Determined, free, mad. And here is their museum. [..] In the history of art, well before the striking cases of Van Gogh and Ligabue, many other artists experienced mental disorder and expressed themselves through visionary, hallucinatory language. Each one of them has his/her own story, a dimension that is not measured with reality, but with dream. And that is the dream that they represent, with complete satisfaction, beyond all torment”.


All Saints – The Sculptures of Cesare Inzerillo

Patients, doctors, and nurses, distinguished by their uniforms alone, are reduced to mummies, joined in the unlikely battle against suffering and death.

The Grid – Photographs, Paintings and Neons

Ninety portraits of paintings found in the clinical records of the former psychiatric institutes in Italy make up a grid measuring over 12 metres where a luminous neon around each of the portraits bestows them with light and allows us to hear the thoughts expressed by each of their faces.

Room of Memories – Abandoned Objects  

Dozens of cases contain literature in its original language that has dealt with the theme of madness over the centuries, drugs found in psychiatric institutes, the patients’ personal belongings, toys, and drawings from a difficult past.

Franco Basaglia

Courtesy of Rai Teche, screening of the video: “Linea Diretta - Discussione su ‘Legge 180’” and “X Day - I grandi della Scienza ‘Franco Basaglia’”.


Thanks to the contribution of Francesco Marino, another video denouncing the Ospedali Psichiatrici Giudiziari will be screened; the video was produced by the Parliamentary Commission on the effectiveness of the National Health Service – Senate of the Republic.

Antonio Ligabue – Pietro Ghizzardi
One section of the “Museo della Follia” consists of a major retrospective dedicated to the two artists. On display are a total of 113 works, of which 71 paintings, 4 drawings and 12 sculptures by Antonio Ligabue and 26 works by Ghizzardi. The exhibition is organized by Augusto Agosta Tota, president of the Centro Studi & Archivio Antonio Ligabue in Parma. It is a precious opportunity to encounter the historicized and become familiar with works that have never been seen before, to be enchanted by the art of two representatives of the art produced in the Po Valley in the twentieth century; two men who with a hallucinatory air, a sense of nature, and who led lives that bordered on material and spiritual survival, and who continued to fight even when everything seemed lost in the fog of madness. Masterpieces such as Re della foresta (King of the Forest), oil on canvas, 190x251 cm; Autoritratto (Self-Portrait), oil on faesite, 199.7x130.3 cm. The 37 works by Pietro Ghizzardi include the mixed media works Claudia Cardinale, 1960, Marilin, 1968, and Mina, 1970.

Hundreds of works including sculptures, paintings, and photographs deal with the theme of madness in art history, from the seventeenth century to the present. The artists whose works are on display include: Giovanni Carnovali called il Piccio (1804 - 1873); Silvestro Lega (1826 - 1895); Michele Cammarano (1835 - 1920); Antonio Mancini (1852 - 1930); Gaetano Esposito (1858 - 1910); Filippo Antonio Cifariello (1864 - 1936); Vincenzo Gemito (1852 - 1929); Gino Rossi (1884 - 1947); Vito Timmel (1886 - 1949); Gino Tancredi Sandri (1892 - 1959); Carlo Zinelli (1916 - 1974); Lorenzo Alessandri (1927 - 2000); Ottavio Mazzonis (1921 - 2010); Giovanni Macciotta (1927-1993); Bruno Caruso (1927); Mario Molinari (1930 - 2001); Umberto Gervasi (1939); Raimondo Lorenzetti (1948); Luigi Serafini (1949); Roberto Gasperini (1950); Giacinto Bosco (1956); Gaetano Giuffrè; Grazia Cucco (1965); Agostino Arrivabene (1967); Bertozzi & Casoni (Giampaolo Bertozzi, 1957; Stefano Dal Monte Casoni, 1961); Fabrizio Sclocchini (1969); Vincenzo Baldini; Nicola Sferruzza; Mimmo Centonze (1979); Marilena Manzella; Gaspare Palazzolo; Roberta Fossati; Sandro Bettin.


Da lunedì a venerdì 10:00 - 19:00; 
sabato, domenica e festivi 9:00 - 20:30 (la cassa chiude un’ora prima).

Biglietto intero 10,00 euro
Biglietto ridotto 7,00 euro per gruppi di minimo 10 persone, over 65, ragazzi 11-18 anni, giornalisti con regolare tessera. 
Biglietto ridotto 6,00 euro per universitari e bambini 6-10 anni. 
Biglietto ridotto 5,00 euro con convenzione Catania card. 
Biglietto ridotto 4,00 euro per le scuole. 
Gratuito bambini fino a 5 anni.

Prenotazioni on line: 
Infopoint tel. 3442249701 
Centro Studi & Archivio Ligabue tel. 0521245016

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