Ars Canusina: ceramics and embroidery


“It was a patient by the name of Zaira, a skilled embroiderer, who found the way to give relief to the Ars Canusina motifs by coming up with a stick that, while similar to others, has its own original execution and results in effects that complement the patterns” (Maria Bertolani del Rio)

In addition to artistic embroideries, Ars Canusina artefacts, made from 1930 onwards, also include ceramics and more. The project, which was the brainchild of the pediatrician Maria Bertolani del Rio, aimed to reintegrate into society the disabled children (between the ages of 5 and 16) who attended the school established inside the psychiatric hospital in 1921, by teaching them arts and crafts with a wide variety of applications. The Reggia-born doctor implemented her project with an eye towards local traditions, using imagery inspired by the Romanesque decorative motifs in local burgs, castles, and rural churches and gospel books from Matilde di Canossa’s day. These motifs were then simplified and adapted to the Art Nouveau aesthetic of the 1930s.

Photo credits: Andrea Scardova.