3 Dec 2021 – 5 Jun 2022

Leoncillo. L’antico

Artistic Direction Sergio Risaliti

Curated by Enrico Mascelloni e Martina Corgnati

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Where and when


3December 2021


5June 2022

Conceived as a real ‘solo’, the exhibition is the first in an Italian museum dedicated to investigating the deep relationships that Leoncillo had with the ancient, archaic and classical, as well as with the great masters of the Renaissance and Baroque, throughout its thirty years of activity (1938-1968)

Exhibition Hours

Last admission one hour before closing

Museo Novecento

Monday – Sunday

11:00 am

8:00 pm


MAF – Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Firenze

Monday – Wednesday

8:30 am

2:00 pm

Thursday – Friday

1:30 pm

7:00 pm

Saturday – 1° Sunday of the month

8:30 am

2:00 pm

2°-3°-4°-5° Sunday of the month

The collaboration with other Florentine museums and institutions is consolidated: one of Leoncillo’s most famous works is, in fact, exhibited at the National Archaeological Museum of Florence to underline the continuity of a fruitful dialogue between contemporary art and the past, in this case with the artistic expression of the ancient Etruscans, whose creations impressed Leoncillo with their profound understanding of human feelings suspended between love and death, life and afterlife.   

The exhibited works, about thirty sculptures, panels and papers, highlight the continuity of gaze that runs through the entire work, beyond the more traditional classifications based solely on stylistic criteria: in fact, from the hybrid and monstrous beings of 1939 until the last and celebrated decade in which the experience of matter triumphs, through the neocubist season (1946-1955).

Leoncillo never renounces to articulate an intimate and demanding comparison with the great past of sculpture, not only to restore dignity to his chosen material, ceramics, generally reduced to a simple instrument for craftsmen, but implicitly placing himself on the same level as the masters and of the artistic civilizations that preceded him in the face of the same privileged subject, man, and the same drama: suffering and death. Proof of this is the presence of one of Leoncillo’s most famous works in the rooms of the Archaeological Museum, among ancient sarcophagi from the Etruscan era. 

The exhibition is the first systematic attempt to investigate ancient presences in the entire work of the Umbrian master, bringing together, among others, the three glazed polychrome terracottas remembered as the Monsters – hybrid creatures inspired by the classical world created in the late 1930s, the Siren, the Hermaphrodite and the Harpy, close to the contemporary examples of the Roman School, in particular in Scipione. Then there are two examples of the well-known Caryatids of the war years, the first probably from 1942 and another from 1945, together with lesser-known works, such as the Table and Figure that runs.


Leoncillo Leonardi

Spoleto, 1915 – Rome, 1968

Artistic Direction

Sergio Risaliti

Curated by

Enrico Mascelloni

Martina Corgnati

Scientific Coordination

Francesca Neri

Eva Francioli


Costanza Savelloni

T: +39 055 291014 



Giulia Spissu

Ph Credits

Serge Domingie