Cencio 2016 painted by Andrea Meini
Andrea Meini : “I found it ……. For the 36th edition of the Palio di Fucecchio 2016, I was invited to paint the “Cencio”. The theme is inherent to the Jubilee of Mercy announced by Pope Francis for this Holy Year. The first image that came to my mind was the Virgin of Mercy by Piero della Francesca with the open mantle that welcomes and protects the faithful. It reminded me of circus drapery where horses and riders could run. So I made a small sketch of a project where two horses ran in a circle inside the mantle of the Virgin Mary ….
Too easy, it did not convince me. The time available for delivery was not much and my claim to this Cencio was high.
I wanted it to be immediate, communicative and above all with bright colors that had the strength to be noticed at a distance, because the Cencio del Palio is not an immobile thing, but is always seen by the moving people, from the moment of presentation to the historical parade in most important day for Fucecchio and the Fucecchio. I thought that such a structure can be seen today in billboards that meet in speed passing by cars on the city streets. Then, via the Virgin, via the circus mantle, in its place I imagined the idealized face of Mercy. A face that could express the values of compassion, understanding, piety. A face with closed eyes, because it can not look, that is, to distinguish the just from the sinner, the rich from the poor. Mercy is and must be merciful with everyone and everyone.
In order to link the theme to the Palio it was natural to insert two horses on the sides of the “face” and to be able to represent the municipal colors, it was equally natural to make one white and one black. Here is my Cencio for the city of Fucecchio, ready to be put in the hands of the most deserving district that for this edition has been won, and I would say more than deservedly, from the Ancient Contrada Massarella with a white horse very similar to the one painted. I discovered later that most of the poles won by this district have a white horse. A coincidence?”
Cencio 2004 painted by Tamara Lucaccini
Tamara Lucaccini: “This work was an act of love and stands as a testimonial to the feelings I experienced. It is an emblem of life: the design corresponds to the barrenness of everyday life. Reality tends to creep in and transport us to a timeless place that seems to hold its own secret. My role as an artist was to capture the values that that have left memories and fondness, passion and sincerity, to actually reinterpret them in a way that dematerialises the truth and spiritualises the life experience.”
Cencio 2003 painted by Barbara Bonistalli
Barbara Bonistalli: “The Cenci of 2003 was my Palio, so I could talk about the thrill I experienced when they honoured me with the commission of creating the Cencio of the Palio of Fucecchio, when you see your name in the local newspapers and you are called upon to represent the most important event of the year. Your thoughts focus on what to paint, what to portray, and inspiration comes to you: a white horse, the desire to run, freedom, a historic reference to Fucecchio, thinking about the church of San Salvatore overlooking the town, colours that blend and tree branches that serve as a frame that surrounds the painting.”
Cencio 2000 painted by Rosy Giaciglio
Rosy Giaciglio: ” Solidarity. I have never sought a specific image to represent pain. Such a sad word does not belong to the pages of a distant memory, but rather to a reality that we are living today, indifferent, incapable of listening and loving. I attempted to capture on the canvas desperate hopes of painting only images. I don’t know if I succeeded in making sense of nonsense, but I hope to have made some sense of my world.”
Cencio 1998 painted by Igor Cinelli
Igor Cinelli: “The theme I wanted to portray was the speed of the race in the Buca, the solidarity and the commitment of the volunteers of the Fratres Blood Donors Group, my birthplace with its medieval towers and its countryside. In the painting, the battlements of the ancient towers dominate, imposing yet fragile, the passing of time having chipped and eroded stones that serve as a background for the racing horses, stretching in their efforts to round a curve, determined to pass the others, reined in by cautious jockeys. Some drops of an intense red serve as an outline: blood not only emphasises a tie with the Fratres group, but also evokes passion – the passion, the love, and the warmth of a tradition that is so important to my town. The profound and immense sky and the grass of the Buca D’Andrea frame this work, which is as schematic as it is geometric. By framing the composition of the visual reality into squares, rectangles, and circles, by evoking strong and important colours, I attempted to express the true soul of this manifestation, made of the important values of solidarity and social commitment to the contrada’s spirit of love for the territory and traditions.”