Vittorio Messina

Four Mute Men


Vittorio Messina works again for the Municipal Administration, addressing his work to Legoli. The
work consists of four silhouettes of men, very tall and imposing, built in tuff bricks. Each man
carries a type of metal easel on his head. The work takes the name of Four Mute Men. It is just wall
blocks and contour lines, similar to one other but not identical. In this work is also a reference to
classicism. In order to explain its meaning, we need to refer to a tale by Pliny the Elder contained in
the Naturalis Historia (XXXV, 15): “De Pictura satis superque. Contexuisse his et plasticen
conveniat. Eiusdem opere terrae fingere ex argilla similitudines Butades Sicyonius figulus primus
invenit Corinthi filiae opera quae capta amore iuvenis, abeunte illo peregre, umbram ex facie eius
ad lucernam in pariete lineis cicumscripsit, quibus pater eius impressa argilla typum fecit et cum
ceteris fictilibus induratum igni proposuit, eumque servatum in Nymphaeo, doec Mummius
Corinthum everterit, tradunt”.
The tale is about the daughter of an ancient Greek potter, who fell madly in love with a young
Athenian; yet, the love did not last long as the young man was called to arms to defend his
homeland. The girl could not find peace and, at the moment of the last goodbye, while she was
about to hug her beloved one for the last time in her father's shop, she noticed that the sun while
warming the body of the young man was projecting his shadow on the wall. According to legend,
painting and sculpture originated from the act of the potter's daughter. The reference to this myth is
not only to be found in the simple line that defines the silhouette as a shadow, but also in the iron
tool, placed on the head of the four men, which has the look of an easel for painters.

Roberto Gramiccia, Vittorio Messina, Vittorio Messina, 2006 Gli Ori, Prato.
Cristiana Ferrario, Peccioli una realtà dell’arte ambientale in Italia, Degree thesis of the Course in Sciences of
Historic-Artistic, Musical, Cinematographic and Theatrical Heritage. Historical-Artistic Curriculum, University of
Siena, academic year 2009-2010.
Federica Marras, Territorio e creatività: l’esempio della Belvedere S.p.A. dalla discarica al Polo Museale, Degree
Thesis of the Course in Sciences of Historic-Artistic, Musical, Cinematographic and Theatrical Heritage. Historical-
Artistic Curriculum, University of Siena, academic year 2009-2010.



Artista Vittorio Messina
Titolo Opera Four Mute Men
Data 2006
Tipologia Sculpture