The President of the Lombardy Region Roberto Maroni and Vittorio Sgarbi inaugurate the Museo della Follia

Palazzo della Ragione
Mantua, Piazza Erbe
19 May – 22 November 2015

An event sponsored by the Lombardy Region curated by the Ambassador Vittorio Sgarbi on the occasion of "Expo Belle Arti 2015".

Opening hours: Monday 2-7 p.m.; from Tuesday to Friday: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday: 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sundays and holidays: 10 a.m.-7 p.m..  Tickets: 10 €; 8.50 € (with discount); 6 € (special discount); 4,50 € (children); groups with a guide 70 € (tickets are sold until one hour before closing).

Mantua, 18 May 2015. The Museo della Follia is an initiative of the Lombardy Region curated by Vittorio Sgarbi, Ambassador to “Expo Belle Arti 2015”. It is a far-reaching project conceived for the purpose of promoting the culture, art, architecture and landscape of Lombardy via the collaboration with public entities and cultural institutes active in the region. The exhibition involves the collaboration of the City of Mantua, and it is also sponsored by the: Senate of the Republic, Presidency of the Council of Ministers, MIBACT, Province of Mantua, Mantua Expo 2015. The organization of the event is curated by the Centro Studi e Archivio Antonio Ligabue in Parma  chaired by Augusto Agosta Tota.

The museum, conceived by Vittorio Sgarbi, was produced by Giovanni Lettini, Sara Pallavicini, Stefano Morelli and Cesare Inzerillo. It opens today and will stay open to the public until 22 November 2015 in the exhibition spaces of the Palazzo della Ragione, located in Piazza Erbe in Mantua.

The sections are as follows:

Tutti i Santi (All Saints) – The Sculptures of Cesare Inzerillo

Patients, doctors, and nurses, distinguished by their uniforms alone, are reduced to mummies, joined in the arduous 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. A luminous neon around each of the portraits bestows them with light and allows us to hear the thoughts coming from each of the faces.

Room of Memories – Abandoned Objects  

Dozens of cases contain literature, in the original language, that has dealt with the theme of madness over the centuries, as well as the 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” contains a major retrospective dedicated to the two artists. On display are 190 works by Antonio Ligabue, of which 12 paintings and 2 drawings never before seen from private collections. The section dedicated to Ghizzardi showcases 37 works never exhibited or published before. 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 what is historicized, and become familiar with what has 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 were members of a humanity that bordered on material and spiritual survival, who continued to fight even when everything seemed lost in the fog of madness. For the first time ever 12 oil paintings by Ligabue: Cavallo (Horse), 1939-1942; a Ritratto (Portrait) from 1941; Cavalli all’aratro (Horses Ploughing), made from 1948 to 1950; Ritratto di Donna (Portrait of a Woman), 1952 to 1962; Scorpione (Scorpion), in two different versions; Paesaggio agreste (Agrarian Landscape), Vedova nera con preda (Black Widow with Prey), Gatto con la talpa (Cat with Mole), Testa di tigre (Tiger Head), dated from 1953 to 1954, while Paesaggio con cani (Landscape with Dogs) dates to 1953-1955. Lepre (Hare) was made between 1957 and 1958. Alce (Moose) and Cavallo (Horse) are two undated drawings. The 37 unpublished works by Pietro Ghizzardi include the mixed media works depicting Claudia Cardinale, 1960, Marilin, 1968, and Mina, 1970.

The Mantua museum includes a section dedicated to temporary exhibits on the theme of madness. Also on display are works by the following artists: il Piccio, Antonio Mancini, Filippo Antonio Cifariello, Gaetano Esposito, Michele Cammarano, Vincenzo Gemito, Vito Timmel, Massimo Mariano, Gino Sandri, Carlo Zinelli, Bertozzi & Casoni, Giovanni Macciotta, Lorenzo Alessandri, Raimondo Lorenzetti, Mario Molinari, Umberto Gervasi, Giacinto Bosco, Fabrizio Sclocchini, Luigi Serafini, Agostino Arrivabene, Giordano Morganti, Gaetano Giuffrè, Ottavio Mazzonis, Nicola Sferruzza, Marilena Manzella, Sandro Bettin, Gaspare Palazzolo.