EXHIBITION – EMANUELE LUZZATI Life, Color and Fairy Tales. The Jewish World of an Artist

luzzatiBy Daniela Gross

In the happy days of his childhood he loved to draw and invent stories and performances with puppets, recreating what he saw at the Opera Theatre with his parents. At that time his best spectator was his little sister. But once he grew-up, the creations of Emanuele Luzzati (Genova 1921-2007) reached a public much wider than his family, touching the heart of generations in Italy and abroad.

The work of Luzzati, artist, illustrator, set designer, director and Academy Awards nominee, is now recreated in the exhibit “Vita, colore, fiabe – Il mondo ebraico di Emanuele Luzzati – Life, color, fairy tales – The Jewish World of Emanuele Luzzati”, organized by the MEIS in collaboration with Museo Luzzati (Genova), and recently inaugurated at the Jewish book fair in Ferrara.

Luzzati was able to describe with grace and sparkling imagination the ancient world, the traditions and the habits of Italian Jews. In that way he opened a rare window on an universe too often hidden or misunderstood. His images, always full of colors, represent weddings, holidays such as Pesach or Sukkoth.

At the same time, in the illustrations and the exhibitions/shows, he tells stories from the Bible, he narrates about the Golem, the Dybbuk, the Baal Shem Tov or enchants the kids with the adventures of Guz, the Haluz Monkey, a funny pioneer monkey, the only cartoon designed by Luzzatti for the Italian magazine Hechaluz between the 1949 and the 1952.

The exhibit, curated by Sergio Noberini (director of Museo Luzzati of Genova) and Michela Zanon (director of Jewish Museum of Venice and member of the Scientific Committee of MEIS) shows a rich selection of the works of Luzzati: Illustrations, sketches, little hand painted theaters, photographs and ceramics from the Archives of Museo Luzzati of Genova. Through three sections, we can explore how Emanuele Luzzati represented the Jewish life in the solemnity and the joy of the holidays, his unusual ability to employ colors and his fables even inspired by the short stories of Primo Levi.
Born in Genova in the 1921, Luzzati was forced to leave Italy after the fascist racist laws of the 1938 and took refuge in Switzerland. There, in Lausanne, he attended a school of applied arts. He came back to Italy, to Milan, after the war in the 1945.

“Life, color, fairy tales – The Jewish World of Emanuele Luzzati” 4/27 – 7/27/2014.
Museo Nazionale dell’Ebraismo Italiano e della Shoah – via Piangipane, 81 – Ferrara