Ferrara’s dream

W the human figure, 2009 Oil on wood, private collection

Tuesday 2 August, last episode of the history interview with the artist Adelchi Riccardo Mantovani about the exhibition in the Castle

FERRARA – On Tuesday, August 2, the last episode of the interview with the artist Adelchi Riccardo Mantovani will be online on the occasion of the exhibition The dream of Ferrara, the first anthology in Italy dedicated to the artist, which can be visited at Estense Castle until October 9. For five Tuesdays, the artist talks exclusively about himself on the social channels of the Palazzo dei Diamanti.

The new episode will be available online on the Facebook (www.facebook.com/PalazzoDiamanti) and Instagram (www.instagram.com/palazzodiamanti) platforms from Tuesday, August 2, where you can also watch the previous releases.

Among the works narrated is W the human figure, oil on panel made by Mantovani in 2009. “In an invented city that could be located in the lower Ferrara area, some children play happily and carefree in the square – says the painter – . Their pastime is to write absurd sentences on the walls, all beginning with a “Hurrah”. But suddenly a pit of very angry right-wing people armed with sticks appear, intent on punishing the children for their insolence. One of them, who is about to write “W the human figure”, is forced to stop, leaving on the wall a statement with an ambiguous meaning”.

In the video interview, the painter, originally from Ro, also talks about Regina mundi, from 2020, where Greta Thunberg is represented, “a girl with braids and a sign written in Swedish:” Skolstrejk för klimatet “(school for the climate) – which Mantovani remembers that – with her charm as a shy girl, she was able, in perfect English, to mobilize millions of people around the world, becoming the symbol of the fight for the climate, mostly encouraging young people who have begun to worry seriously about their future. Greta is a real phenomenon, comparable to a modern day Joan of Arc. Her role is a warning, although I highly doubt that those who really have the opportunity to change things will do their utmost to listen to her”.

Organized by the Ferrara Arte Foundation and the Art Museums Service of the Municipality of Ferrara in collaboration with Mart, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto, where the exhibition The dream of Ferrara in Castello traces the entire production of the extraordinary painter and draftsman – from the beginning to the very latest works – through over a hundred works, including paintings and drawings, which document his very personal interpretation of a dream-like realism constantly nourished by the observation of truth and memory.

Born in Ro Ferrarese in 1942, Adelchi Riccardo Mantovani, orphaned by his father, was entrusted to the sisters of the Ferrara orphanage from 1946 to 1952 and was then sent to boarding school to follow professional courses to learn the job of turner. In 1964 he moved to Germany and two years later settled in Berlin, where he started working in the factory. The city’s cultural climate encouraged him to rediscover the ability to draw that had manifested itself in the time of the college. In the German city, he attended evening painting schools, nude courses, studied art history and exhibited at group exhibitions with other artists. In 1979 he gave up the role of the worker to definitively assume the role of a painter. During this period, his unique research, aimed at creating a fantastic, allegorical and fairy-tale world, comes to full maturity, which has its roots in ancient art (the painting of the fifteenth century Po and Flemish naturalism) and at the same time brings together the suggestions of the most fascinating figurative currents in the early twentieth century, from de Chirico’s metaphysics to the new German objectivity, from Delvaux and Magritte’s surrealism to magical realism.

Ferrara’s dream

Adelchi Riccardo Mantovani

Ferrara, Estense Castle

5 March – 9 October 2022

From an idea of

Vittorio Sgarbi


Ferrara Art Foundation and Art Museums Service of the Municipality of Ferrara, in collaboration with Mart, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto

Opening hours

From 10:00 to 18:00, closed on Tuesdays (ticket office closes 45 minutes earlier)



Information and reservation office Ferrara Exhibitions and Museums | phone 0532 244949

Information and ticket office

Tel. 0532 419180

castelloestense@comune.fe.it | www.castelloestense.it

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