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The tragic story of Ferruccio Mengaroni’s “The Medusa.”


An important and significant work for the collections of the Pesaro Civic Museums housed in the Palazzo Toschi Mosca , is the majolica tondo depicting Medusa, by the well-known and talented Pesaro ceramicist Ferruccio Mengaroni.

Mengaroni and his Medusa

Mengaroni was an imaginative ceramist and painter who lived in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, he reworked and made his own, giving his very personal vision of the Renaissance works belonging to the Mazza collection.

Mengaroni’s Medusa has a tragic history. In fact, in 1925, during the transportation of the work to the second floor of the Royal Villa of Monza in which the Biennial of Decorative Arts, the crate in which it was contained collapsed, and the artist, in order to save the work, literally ran towards it, being crushed under its 12 quintals of weight and under the terrifying image of the monster Medusa, which was also the his self-portrait.

Act of the City of Monza announcing the death of Ferruccio Mengaroni

A sort of contrapasso in which the artist dies but saves his work by consigning it to eternity, just like the myth of Medusa which is ambivalent being not only mortal but also an immortal image.

Francesca Banini – Heritage care and management, Musei Civici Palazzo Toschi Mosca – Pesaro

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