At the Santa Maria della Scala the exhibition “Fausto Melotti. Lightly. A tribute to Italo Calvino”


Until 7 April 2024, “Fausto Melotti. Lightly. A tribute to Italo Calvino” edited by Michelina Eremita.

An exhibition dedicated to the friendship and artistic bond between Italo Calvino and Fausto Melotti with the aim of enhancing the cultural and aesthetic affinity of the two friends, both known for the apparently impossible balances poised between the visible and the ‘Invisible. A journey through 22 sculptures of various sizes and many drawings spanning a period from 1935 to 1985. Like the works Costante Uomo of 1936, Il Viaggio (1961) and Contrappunto libero (1972) plastically reveal the words of Italo Calvino, but at the same time they pay homage to Fausto Melotti, one of the most important artists of the twentieth century, characterized by the imponderable lightness, basic of his artistic research.

The exhibition itinerary is divided into four sections. The first room it is a prologue, in fact it gives insight into the relationship between the writer and the sculptor, proposing an overview of Calvino’s books with Melotti’s works on the cover and the presentation of two works, Stairs of 1975 and The Ephemerals from 1981, which plastically reveal the words written by Calvino for him There is no documented correspondence between the two, but Calvino’s thoughts were published on several occasions. The second room, with I Dioscuri from 1969, introduces the myth, a theme very dear to Fausto Melotti and leads to the third section where the works created from 1935 to 1985 are exhibited, thus allowing a complete vision of his work. In the third room the artist’s journey is reconstructed through twenty sculptures, some works on paper and drawings. A specific in-depth study is dedicated to the alphabets, fundamental elements of writing, exposed again after many years. They effectively bring the artist’s distinctive features onto paper, allowing the visitor’s gaze to observe more analytical or, on the contrary, more synthetic formal results.

A section is also dedicated to the genius of Fausto Melotti’s creative process to document the stages of progress of the work: from the genesis, the sketch, to the drawing, up to the completed work.



Fausto Melotti was born in Rovereto (Trento) on 8 June 1901. In 1918 he enrolled in the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics at the University of Pisa, a course of study that he continued at the Polytechnic of Milan, where in 1924 he graduated in electrical engineering. In these years he obtained a piano diploma and began studying sculpture in Turin, with the sculptor Pietro Canonica. In 1928 he enrolled at the Brera Academy in Milan, where he was a pupil of Adolfo Wildt, together with Lucio Fontana, with whom he formed a long association. In 1935 “Kn” by Carlo Belli, cousin of Fausto Melotti, was published. In the same year, together with the group of Milanese abstractionists, he participated in the first collective exhibition of abstract art in the studio of Casorati and Paolucci in Turin and exhibited sculptures of strictly contrapuntal inspiration in Milan at the Galleria del Milione. His first exhibition was not successful in Italy, but received attention in France. From 1941 to 1943 he lived in Rome. After the war he dedicated himself to ceramics and achieved, through a very refined technique, a very high quality recognized by the numerous awards he received. During this period, a profound professional and human bond with Gio Ponti deepened. In 1967 he exhibited numerous newly inspired sculptures at the Toninelli Gallery in Milan. From here began a series of exhibitions in Italy and abroad which would quickly bring him success and allow the public to get to know his multifaceted activity. In 1975 Adelphi published a collection of writings and poems entitled “Linee” which won the Diano Marina Prize in 1975. Florence, Rome, Venice but also New York, London, Zurich, Frankfurt and Paris dedicate large personal and collective exhibitions to him. Melotti died in Milan on 22 June 1986 and in the same month the 42nd Venice Biennale of Visual Arts awarded him the Golden Lion in memory.

Exhibition ticket
FULL € 10.00
REDUCED €5.00 (Residents of the Municipality of Siena)
FREE (under 11s, disabled people and companions, accredited journalists, tourist guides and training institutions in the municipal area)

until March 14, 2024
from Monday to Friday, 10.00 am – 5.00 pm
Saturday and Sunday, 10.00am – 7.00pm
closed Tuesday

from 23 December 2023 to 6 January 2024
every day, 10.00 am – 7.00 pm
Closed December 25th

from 15 March 2024
Every day: 10.00-19.00

For information


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