Sergio Risaliti introduces La meraviglia and the Artistic Residency programme

meravìglia (tosc. o letter. maravìglia) s. f. [lat. mīrabĭlia, propr. «cose meravigliose» (pl. neutro dell’agg. mīrabĭlis «mirabile, meraviglioso»).

Sergio Risaliti, curator of the Artistic Residency programme of Manifattura Tabacchi, introduces La meraviglia (wonder) edition.

“The Manifattura Tabacchi is experiencing a creative, experimental, interdisciplinary, and innovative rebirth. The very existence of this three-year cycle of artists-in-residence proves that the historical Renaissance (whose core was Firenze) is ongoing; we are witnessing a ‘renaissance in progress’ – the glorious flourishing of art that occurred during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries continues today.


The second cycle of Art Residencies at Manifattura Tabacchi began in the name of La meraviglia (wonder). What could be more relevant to art than the idea of ‘la meraviglia’, the idea of wonder? Is not the ultimate goal of artistic creativity the creation of marvelous things? With ‘la meraviglia’ in mind, we asked the artists-in-residence to reflect upon this magical word, to draw inspiration from it and use it as a catalyst. Wonder is perhaps the first emotion which awakened man to the beauty of nature, marveling at his own thoughts and his capacity to create. Feeling and object became intertwined, an extraordinary, irreversible fact. Vision and sentiment, intelligence and imagination. We can imagine the sense of awe inspired before the starry sky. Wonder sweetened the fear of living in the world. Wonder dilated man’s perception, widening his visible horizon.


‘Meraviglia’ is the word that acts as a frame and as a starting point for the artistic gesture, a word that is appropriate to describe the Manifattura Tabacchi’s global vision. Knowledge is used against the repetition of old models, stereotypes, in opposition to what is always the same. Six young artists from different cultures and artistic backgrounds – Davide D’Amelio, Anna Dormio, Bekhbaatar Enkhtur, Esma Ilter, Giulia Poppi e Negar Sh – gave life to an experience of new-renaissance. Because Art generates wonderful things.


This second chapter of artist residencies has been dedicated to the sense of wonder understood from a broader frame of mind, including: the materials and technologies employed, heavenly and earthly phenomena, industrial and artisanal production. Wonder before the expansion of thought, and wonder as a primary source of creativity. Awe and wonder are understood as sparks that generate all that is beautiful, exceptional, magnificent. Wonder for both the microcosmos and the infinite universe. For small, delicate artistic inventions and the poet’s verses.”



Sergio Risaliti