Room 5

«What happened to Testori was what had already happened to Victor Hugo: writing and drawing at the same time. More precisely, to give birth to word and drawing together, in an intense and dramatic play of different signs, all aimed at making visible the very face of poetry.»
Carlo Bo, 1987

The relationship between writing and drawing was always very close for Testori and, leafing through the manuscript notebooks, one discovers that the blank spaces of the pages “hosted” Testori’s expressive vein in a period in which, at least between 1958 and 1964, it did not lead to real paintings or important autonomous drawings. After a few full-page drawings that appeared in the Gilda del Mac Mahon notebook, it was the writing of the poem I Trionfi that prompted the writer to create numerous large drawings, often with a floral theme. On some pages, the size of the drawing and the attention paid to the details of the flowers, clearly portrayed from life, almost seem to reverse the roles, transforming the notebooks into commented herbals.
But drawing is also the crossroads of Testori’s theatrical and even cinematographic activity. A cycle of ten drawings bears witness to the work of the writer who, in 1970, for the script of a film never made and dedicated to Hamlet, wanted to design the costumes, with precise indications of colours and materials. In short, drawing proves to be at the heart of Testori’s creative production, whatever expressive path it is destined to take.

Posted on: 3 January 2022, by : Alessandro Ulleri