The Art of Nobel Winner Dario Fo

Dario Fo "Earthquake in L'Aquila"
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Dario Fo "Earthquake in L'Aquila"
Dario Fo’s “The Earthquake in L’Aquila”

Calling Italian playwright Dario Fo a “Renaissance” man would probably irk him given his long history of questioning authority and mocking the status quo. But Fo, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1997 (one of six Italians to have won the literature prize) proves he is worthy of this nickname with the new exhibit of his art at Milan’s Palazzo Reale.

The incredibly colorful exhibit “Dario Fo: Lazzi, Sberleffi, Dipinti” (“Jokes, Mockery, Paintings) displays more than 400 of the writer’s paintings, drawings, and tapestries, many of which depict controversial subjects or figures, contain tongue-in-cheek and/or scathing commentary on current affairs in Italy, or touch on classical themes and stories. Painting titles include “Christmas at the Prison of San Vittore,” “Tower of Babel and the Messina Bridge,” and “The Earthquake in L’Aquila.” Fo even does his own version of “The Battle of Anghiari,” the painting that is sometimes to referred to as The Lost Leonardo. And, in true Renaissance fashion, Fo even paints himself into at least one of his own paintings. Visitors can tour a reproduction of Fo’s artist studio as well.

Says Fo of painting, “I always say I am an amateur actor and a professional painter.” After seeing the catalogue of Fo’s impressive oeuvre, I can’t help but think he could have easily made a living as a painter. Is there a Nobel Prize for Art yet?


Okay, okay…so I took creative license with this month’s theme “invitations.” But I think Dario Fo would approve.

Next month, the Italy Blogging Roundtable will celebrate our first anniversary. Jessica, Alexandra, Gloria, Rebecca, and I have enjoyed tackling a new topic each month, and we’ve especially enjoyed hearing from readers. In fact, we were so pleased with how our last invitation went for bloggers to join us at the Roundtable that we thought we’d extend another! This month, not only is the Italy Roundtable topic INVITATIONS, we’re inviting anyone who wants to participate to blog about one of the past year’s Roundtable topics.

As we’re preparing for the one-year anniversary of the formation of the Italy Roundtable, we’d like to invite you to choose one of the topics we’ve blogged about in the past year and write a post about it. We’ll highlight some of our favorites in our own Roundtable posts next month. Here’s a list of the topics we’ve covered so far – and remember, you can be as creative with your interpretation of it as you like! (We sure are…)

Here are the topics the Italy Blogging Roundtable has covered so far:

Why I Write About Italy
Favorite Art in Italy
“Back to School” or “What Italy Has Taught Me”
Comfort Food
The Elements

Now, read our posts on “invitations,” leave comments, and share them with your friends.

Send one of us a link to your blog post or tag it with #ItalyRoundtable on Twitter so we can find it. Your deadline is May 1. Have fun and we look forward to reading your contributions!

Photo © Dario Fo

Last updated on May 17th, 2023

Post first published on April 11, 2012

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