Vademecum for the visionary traveller
Antonio Possentiís Lucca



Antonio Possenti

Antonio Possenti was born in Lucca in the first half of the 20th century and has his studio here in the Piazza of the ancient Roman Amphitheatre. He studied classics, but soon after discovered drawing and its expressive qualities together with an inclination towards fable which he has maintained in his sharp observation of the human comedy.
He came to painting through drawing and illustrating and, as a painter, is self-taught. His formative influences were the intellectual curiosity and literary and artistic culture that he imbibed as a child in his family circle, from the Greek and Roman classics to the modern and contemporary, with a predilection for experiences of a livelier, fantastical kind.
Over the years, Possenti has created a poetic world and an original, open idiom that excited widespread critical interest from the beginning.
He has travelled a great deal and met many people and cultures but he always comes back to Lucca, to his magical studio which is like a huge suitcase containing mementoes of his sorties into the outside world.
During his long career as an artist, Possenti has exhibited in a number of important public and private spaces, in Italy and abroad.
He has received many honours including the Gonfalone d’Argento from Tuscany and the Pantera d’Oro from the Province of Lucca, both of which are awarded to people who have distinguished themselves in culture and art. He has designed numerous stage sets and costumes and illustrated books for a number of publishing houses (Mondadori, Hiol in Stockholm, Maria Pacini Fazzi, etc.). His most recent exhibitions include those at the Deutsch Oper in Berlin, the Gallery of the Fisiocritici e Magazzini del Sale in Siena, the Reali Poste Room in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence in 2000, the Royal Palace in Caserta in 2001 and the Castel dell’Ovo in Naples in 2002. In 2003 he had an exhibition in the Museo della Sociedade Nacional de Belas Artes in Lisbon (with an introduction written by Josť Saramago, Nobel prize winner for literature), the Biblioteca Nacional di Santa Maria in Feira (Oporto), the Museo Maritimo in Barcelona, and the East West Gallery in London.

Numerous critics, art historians, scholars of literature and poets and intellectuals of various kinds have written about him and with many of them he has also formed friendships. These include Luca Beatrice, Enrico Crispolti, Marilena Pasquali, Pier Carlo Santini, Marcello Venturoli, Vittorio Sgarbi, Arrigo Benedetti, Aldo Busi, Dino Buzzati, Piero Chiara, Luciano Caprile, Raffaele Carrieri, Alfonso Gatto, Giorgio Saviane, Gian Maria Nerli, Mario Tobino, Josť Saramago, Giorgio Soavi and Duccio Trombadori.