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Antonio Ligabue. An artist’s life

Palazzo dei Diamanti celebrates the artistic and human experience of Antonio Ligabue. The exhibition sums up the artistic itinerary of the painter, sculptor and drawer, born in Switzerland and raised in Emilia-Romagna, who became one of the main international artists of the XX Century

Through a path of selected works, it will be possible to understand the evolution of the creative language of this artist, from folklore to portraiture, analysing his unconventional iconography, very intense and full of expression.


His life really was like a fiction. A life full of poverty, loneliness, isolation, but also full of love towards art.
Born in Zurich, in 1899, after a difficult childhood and youth, in 1919 Ligabue came to Gualtieri (Reggio Emilia), his stepfather’s home town. Here, he experiments many diseases and problems, and he is also hospitalized in a psychiatric clinic. In 1928, he meets the artist Renato Marino Mazzacurati, who helps him practising art as a profession.
“Toni al mat” (the mad), so he was called, finds in the artistic practice that safe place he had never been to, and also the oppotrunity to express his feelings.


In 1961, thanks to Mazzacurati and Giancarlo Vigorelli, he has the chance to display some of his works at the Barcaccia Gallery in Rome. After this exhibition, he is officially considered by the public as one of the great Italian artists of his Century.
At Palazzo dei Diamanti, with an exhibition of 100 works of art, it will be possible to re-discover shapes and colors of a very original personality, able to express his natural strenght and his creative power. Portaits, self-portraits, landscapes, still lives, and above all his tigers, lions, snakes, and many more animals, are waiting for us as in a fantastic jungle on the Po river.


Palazzo dei Diamanti – Corso Ercole I d’Este 21 – Ferrara


From October, 31st, 2020 to April, 5th, 2021


Every day, 10.30 – 19.30.
Open on December 8th, 25th and 26th, January 1st and 6th, Easter Day and Easter Monday

(last ticket issued 30 min. before close)


Admission 10.00 €
Free admission: Children under 12; 100% disabled people; Journalists and tour guides with card; ICOM members; “eroi in corsia”: medical workers who operated in Covid wards in Italy
Booking fee 1.00 €
Entrance to the exhibition is admitted in limited numbers.
Visitors with reservations will be granted priority entrance.
We strongly recommend the use of the online ticketing service


Ufficio Informazioni e Prenotazioni Mostre e Musei Ercole I d’Este, 21
telefax0532 203064