The Saffaro Foundation is pleased to announce the online version of Lucio Saffaro's film by Archivio Nazionale Cinema d'Impresa. The topic is concerning Saffaro's research on new polyhedra.

The film was presented at the Venice Biennale in 1986 and conserved as well as digitized by the Archivio Nazionale Cinema d'Impresa. "New Platonic forms" ( 1986; duration: 8:10)





Il Piccolo Filosofo 1963

The Saffaro Foundation is pleased to announce the expansion of its collection thanks to the private donation of a new painting:
Il Piccolo Filosofo (opus LXXXVIII), 1963, olio su tela, 18 x 15 cm., Coll. Fondazione Saffaro


Lucio Saffaro "Dispute ternarie e monodiche",
a cura di G. Vismara, con una prefazione e una nota di Giuseppe O. Longo,
Bologna, Sossella ed., 2019.



28.11.1998 – 28.11.2018


The Lucio Saffaro Foundation recalls that today is the twentieth anniversary of the death of Lucio Saffaro.

The Lucio Saffaro Foundation is pleased to announce the forthcoming publication of the artist's general catalog of graphic works:
Saffaro cover tagliata per web ok small
curated by Gisella Vismara
Edizioni Bononia University Press

XY 03 january-june 2017 – Telling pictures. Essays to honour Lucio Saffaro


XY and Saffaro Foundation invite you to submit proposals to be published in the third issue of XY, which carries on the course set with the start of the journal new series, by exploring the image centrality in thinking, acting and communicating art and science. Memories and critical thinking on the figure of Lucio Saffaro and his work as an artist, intellectual and scientist will be collected. Papers on the theme of the “telling” role of the image will also be selected, with special reference to the broad field of mathematical and scientific thought in general. The “eloquence of the picture” is the key through which we can pose the question of quality in the transmission of visual information, and focus on the excellent ways of building and communicative power of the graphic message. In this sense, the whole work of Lucio Saffaro is an irreplaceable model of consistency.


March 27, 2017: proposal submission (text in English and author’s native language, max 2000 characters, an image)
April 18, 2017: notification of the proposal reception
May 29, 2017: full paper submission (text in English and author’s native language, 15.000–30.000 characters, 8–15 images)

June 14, 2017: notification of the paper reception
Proposals can be submitted:
- preferably by using OJS available here (you need to create an account if you do not have one before);
- by sending an Email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (you can download the template here).

«XY. Critical review of studies on the representation of architecture and use of the image in science and art» is an open access and double–blind peer reviewed biannual magazine. All articles are published in English and author’s native language, have a DOI code (Digital Object Identifier) and are available on Open Journal System platform with a Creative Commons License. The review form and the editorial guidelines are published on digitalXY website.

For any additional information, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the official website of the journal.


invites to the presentation of the REASONED CATALOGUE:


by Gisella Vismara

Editions Bononia University Press, 2016


Wednesday, May 25, 2016, 17.30




Speakers:Renato Barilli, Flavio Caroli, Claudio Cerritelli, Michele Emmer, Gisella Vismara

coordinates: Federico Carpi




CATALOGO GENERALE LUCIO SAFFARO, PAINTINGS 1954-1997, by Gisella Vismara, and. BUP, in bookstores from 23 December 2015.

Presentation of the box set titled:

"LUCIO SAFFARO. PITTORE DI SOGNI E DI POESIE" (Lucio Saffaro. Painter of dreams and poems)

It is a poetical, seducing, useful three-book box set for museum operators, teachers, librarians, and for all the people working in the world of education and arts. The authors, i.e. Fiorella Mariotti and Gisella Vismara, explain that such books are to be considered in between Sciences and Arts, thanks to Saffaro’s polyhedral works, between Maths and Poetry, between Aesthetics and Geometry. This very aspect is the one which makes this box set a particularly suitable instrument to be studied for interdisciplinary school lectures and workshops. Thanks to its very poetical contents and to its visual fascination, these volumes appear to be really helpful for cross-curricular projects at school, for lectures and workshops. It is also considered as an interesting tool for the creation of imaginative reflection writing moments about the fascinating worlds of Geometry and Maths.
This publication is composed of three 13x13-cm volumes, each of the three containing 13 coloured tables, revealing to children and pupils the secret and mysterious shapes painted by artist mathematician and writer Lucio Saffaro. With the aim of never deceiving the readership, the authors always employ the words that Saffaro himself employed in his writings, in a simple, poetical, comprehensive but never compliant, re-elaboration.
“Mappe dei sogni” (Maps of the dreams) describes the fantastic worlds dreamed by the artist. In the volume one can find: faint lines drawing enchanted universes, intricate works with shades of light, silk threads twirling in the air, dream gardens and the wind voices together with the sounds of the sea.
“Eleganti Geometrie” (Graceful Geometries) describes the lines, the circles, the columns, the conical pyramids, the octahedrons, the star-shaped polyhedrons that become flowers made of rock, games of reflection and shapes dancing in the air.
“Misteriosi personaggi” (Mysterious characters) is peopled by: poets, fortune-tellers, knights, maids, poetesses, prophets, musicians, pages who lead the reader along enchanted paths, cliffs, ancient gardens, rock porches and quiet landscapes.

On Tuesday 26th March 2013, at SALA ALLEGRETTO (BLOCCO C), in the Fiera of Bologna, on the occasion of “Children’s Book Fair”, the publisher ARTEBAMBINI and FONDAZIONE LUCIO SAFFARO of Bologna are presenting the box set “Lucio Saffaro. Pittore di sogni e di poesie.”

Announcement of competition


"Fondazione Lucio Saffaro" in order to honor the memory of
Lucio Saffaro announces a competition for awarding the prize to
€ 6,000.00 (six thousand) gross an essay published in 2011-2012,
on "art and science".
Applicants must be born from 1 January 1972 onwards.
To participate in the competition, candidates must submit their
application on plain paper addressed to the "Fondazione Lucio Saffaro"
by S. Stefano n. 30, 40125 Bologna, with an attached certificate of residence as well as the work of competing in four copies within
of 30 May 2013.
The jury will be composed of three experts appointed by the Board of Directors of the Foundation.
The jury's decision is final.

download pdf


TRIESTE - Associazione triestina Amici dei Musei – Marcello Mascherini, together with Fondazione Lucio Saffaro of Bologna invite you all:

on Friday 12th October, at 5 p.m.

to the convention:

"Le forme del pensiero, intorno all'arte di Lucio Saffaro"

Curated by Mrs. Gisella Vismara and Mr. Claudio Cerritelli of Fondazione Lucio Saffaro of Bologna

Address and contacts "Amici del museo"

Via Rossini, 6
34132 Trieste TS

Telephone and fax number: 0039 (0) 40 362538
e-mail address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

web site: http://www.freewebs.com/amici-musei-ts

Personal exhibition

I luoghi segreti dell'essere e del tempo

Villa Franceschi and its Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea close their exhibiting season of year 2011 in Riccione with some great exhibition dedicated to artist Lucio Saffaro (1929-1998). Such an event has met with huge success and received many compliments by the general public so far. From next 5th November it will be possible to admire more than sixty works of such a recognized artist, born in Trieste but soon adopted by the town of Bologna. He, in fact, became popular in the Seventies for being one of the most original and unusual figures of Italian culture. In this exhibition, the public will have the chance to take a look to its paintings, drawings and graphic works, among which the awesome study for the monument of Eudosso (1967), belonging to "Raccolta Arcangeli" of Region Emilia Romagna, kept in the Museum of Riccione so far. Lucio Saffaro, a painter, a writer, a physician and a mathematician has actually left precise traces in the figurative research of his time, based on the relation between numbers and art, art of words and images. This exhibition in Riccione underlines some of Saffaro's essential features rising from his extraordinary and charming complex creativeness with a collection of works corresponding more precisely to his life-long research on mystery and on the unknown. Some aspects, which were quite not taken into account so far, now do emerge: it goes from the first very little recognized drawings or from the oil on canvas, pertaining to the original idea of "metaphysics", to some clearly more "Saffarian" paintings and graphic works. It does emerge in fact a research going by a deep Classicism of Italian Rinascimento. Always denying the appellation of "artist- mathematician", Saffaro has constantly acted mixing Maths and Art through his works, creating a sort of simple continuum between a discipline and the other one. Lucio Saffaro was present at Biennale of Venice and Quadriennale of Rome several times and handled an intense exhibiting activity, followed by a growing "critical success". As a matter of fact, many critics wrote about Saffaro and about his works of art, such as: Accame, Anceschi, Arcangeli, Argan, Baratta, Calvesi, Carandente, Caroli, Emiliani, Emmer, Galimberti, Lemaire, Longo, Marchiori, Menna, Quintavalle, Raimondi, Ramat, Ricoeur, Russoli, Zevi, ect. After his death in 1998, a Foundation in his name and operating for the good of his Art, was instituted in Bologna, where the artist lived and worked for a long time. This Foundation operates in cooperation with the Museum of Art and Sciences of Palazzo Poggi of the University of Bologna. The exhibition "Lucio Saffaro. I luoghi segreti dell'essere e del tempo" curated by Mrs. Gisella Vismara, is promoted by Villa Franceschi in collaboration with Fondazione Lucio Saffaro and Palazzo Poggi of Bologna and with the participation of the Istituto Regionale per i beni artistici, culturali e naturali (Regional Institution for Art, Culture and Nature), as well as the Province of Rimini.

The catalogue itself, edited by Mrs. Gisella Vismara, with the writings of Mr. Giovanni Maria Accame and Mr. Claudio Cerritelli, has been published by Silvana Editore, thanks to the financial support of Fondazione Lucio Saffaro.

The exhibition will be open to the public until 31st January 2012


From Tuesday to Friday from 8.30 to 12.30
Tuesday, Thursady and Sunday from 16 to 19
Closed on Monday and Saturday


Galleria d'arte moderna e contemporanea 
Villa Franceschi Via Gorizia, 2 - 47838 Riccione

Tel. No. 0039 (0) 541 693534 – 0039 (0) 541 600113
e-mail address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;

Disputa cometofantica, (edited by Gisella Vismara), contributions by F. Ermini, G. Vismara. Ed. Bologna, 2011

Published in July 2011

"Disputa cometofantica is a book in form of a poem. It has every feature of a narration romance: there is a plot, there is a landscape, there are the characters": Flavio Ermini writes so, in the introduction to this unpublished work which is Saffaro's last work before his death a few months afterwards. It is a sort of testamentary enigma that he left. An interrogation about language and human speech where mankind is endowed with speech faculty, so men and women can name things and count with the help of "an instrument already given to them, since the beginning", just ready to be used for communication.
Lucio Saffaro, in this completely unknown work, writes about a polyhedral intellectual character too, whose careful and unique vision of existence never gives up on investigating among the three disciplines: literature, art and sciences.
He is a figure such that of an old scholar who writes original and complex texts, paintings and drawings, and produces mathematical studies and new ways of thinking characterized by the willingness to go beyond the division between scientific knowledge and humanistic culture.

scarica PDF

Alessandro Mezzena Lona, Lucio Saffaro, una scrittura lontana dal caoso, il Piccolo, 9th October 2011

To give a logical order to artistic creation. To cancel, in brief, imagination from disorder and chaos, in order to make it dialogue with reason. Lucio Saffaro has dreamt all his life long about creating a solid bridge between art and sciences, between literature and mathematics. Despite that, he did not want to block his great desire of writing, of painting, using too much strict schemes……… He graduated in Physics, he was born in Trieste in 1929; he spent a large part of his existence in Bologna, from 1945 till his death in 1998. He was forced to have a double life to a certain extent. "I kept - he said during an interview given to the "Piccolo" in 1992 – on coming back to Trieste, and not only on the occasion of my several personal exhibitions. However, Bologna became my second home town". Saffaro's name is maybe still much more related to the artistic activity. For his several exhibitions; for the creation of drawings of fractals on canvas. That is, the creation of those geometrical figures coming from the splitting and the infinite repetition of an initial shape, on a small-size base. Actually, he has always admitted that the interest in writing came first, also before that in Maths. «When I was twelve or thirteen, I would already write entire but small literary works, with a scientific structure». Now, it's not astonishing that among his unpublished papers we found a sort of narration in form of a poem with a strange title: "Disputa cometofantica" (150 pages, 18 euros). Luca Sossella, the publisher, has decided to publish it together with Fondazione Lucio Saffaro of Bologna. The book is accompanied with "Appunti d'archivio" by Gisella Vismara and with "La duplice unità della luce", a great introdution essay by Flavio Ermini. This is a text, characterized by a long and complex preparation; Saffaro is supposed to have begun that in 1971 and finished it in 1985. And he then reedited that, ten years later, naming it with the strange title "Disputa cometofantica". Even though Saffaro's book apparently contains every element of a narration romance, such as the plot, the characters and the landscape, "Disputa" actually goes on with a nearly poetic structure, written using short and very short sentences split and numbered. It links in some ways with the erudite antique writings. It goes on with utterances, revelations, but also with negations and doubts. It tries to give voice to the original time when everything began. «Prima che la vela del tempo raccorci il simulacro vivente, tentiamo di salire sugli spalti del caso, dove anche un solo pensiero è ombra di Dio». It starts from the mystery of existence, from that great question mark of life, linked to the beginning of things, and to Saffaro's "Disputa". And from that, sentence by sentence, reasoning by reasoning, it tries to reach the old "sophia", the previous knowledge which stands at the birth of philosophy. It concludes, then, with some interlocutory answers, generating another doubts and another questions. Questions, however, that never give up on the fact of "not knowing". «L'origine dell'origine è una successione infinita che tende al nulla, anche se dal nulla stesso fu originata». Saffaro's "Disputa" becomes a research that cannot accept just the easily revealed truth, under the readers' eyes. «Grado per grado si svela l'indicibile: e quando tutto è stato detto, l'indicibile riappare dall'inizio».

Collective Exhibition

53rd edition of Premio Campigna 

Gli artisti del Campigna alla Biennale di Venezia (Campigna's artists at the Biennale of Venice)

Launched on 23rd July 2011, at 5 p.m., at Galleria d'arte contemporanea "Vero Stoppioni" of Santa Sofia (Forlì-Cesena)
23rd-24th July 2011

For further info:
Office Zona Due Valli
and secretary of Premio Campigna
at the Town Council of Galeata, Via Castellucci n. 1 – 47010 Galeata (FC)
Tel. number: 0039 (0) 543 975428, mobile: 0039 320 4309480

Press release and photographs 
The press release and some images of the works in the exhibition can be downloaded from the web site of the Town Council of Santa Sofia.


I. Licata, "Piccola suite per Lucio Saffaro. Memoria, tempo e dissipazione. Una riflessione su tempo, coscienza e complessità tra arte e scienza", in "Prometeo", anno 33, n. 131, Mondadori, settembre 2015.

"ARTE E MATEMATICA" di Bruno D'Amore
La presentazione del volume "ARTE E MATEMATICA, Metafore, analogie, rappresentazioni, identità tra i due mondi possibili" edizioni DEDALO 2015 verrà presentato c/o l'Accademia di Bologna via Belle Arti, 54 (AULA MAGNA):
LUNEDì 23 MARZO alle ore 17.00 alla presenza di:
Claudio Cerritelli (Accademia di Brera)
Giorgio Bolondi (Dip. Matematica)
coordina Federico Carpi (Fondazione Saffaro)
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