Arte e Magia

The enchantment of European esotericism

Piet Mondrian, Row of eleven poplars in red, yellow, blue and green

Myths, mysteries and magic

Esotericism fascinates just about everyone, even great masters such as Kandinsky, Rodin, Munch, Basile, Klee, Previati and Mondrian.
Here at Palazzo Roverella, we are ready to bowl you over with a great event dedicated to art and magic.
We will take you on a voyage of discovery through the esoteric movements of the 19th and 20th centuries that influenced European painting. Get ready to be bewitched by mysteries, dreams, psychoanalysis and the subconscious. Esotericism, symbolism, and historical avant-garde.

Esotericism, symbolism, historical avant-gardes.

Eugene Grasset, Trois femmes et trois lupus
Opening times

Come and visit us every day
Monday through Friday from 9.30 to 19.00
Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 9.00 to 20.00
€ 12

€ 8
Who can buy this ticket?
Guided tour groups at fixed or agreed times (one free carer), visitors aged between 6 and 18, university students with ID, over 65s, the military, teachers with ID, affiliated categories.

Free admission
Children up to the age of 5; the disabled with 1 carer; journalists with press passes; tourist guides with license.

Family reductions
Concession for parents and free admission for children up to the age of 18 (can only be purchased at the ticket office)

Buy your ticket  

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Leave your rationality behind before entering

Let demons and spirits, witches and wizards, vampires and ancient gods take you by the hand. Abandon your certainties, allow yourself to be taken down into the most inaccessible recesses of the human soul, and discover a truly unique period in the history of the Western world.

Europe, sometime between 1880 and 1925. A time when interest in esotericism and hermetic doctrines resurfaced with a vengeance, encompassing the figurative arts, literature and architecture in its aura of mystery.

The desire to explore dreams, the occult, the subconscious became a guiding thread that bound together two emerging movements, Symbolism and psychoanalysis, and, shortly afterwards, also the early 20th century avant-garde movements, Futurism and Abstractionism.
Sascha Schneider, Astarte
Marcel Lenoir, Invocation à la Madonne d’onyx vert

When the lips sleep the soul wakes up

Any initiation begins with a promise: that the initiated will not reveal the occult doctrines they are learning. And that’s precisely how the journey through Art and Magic opens: with an invitation to silence. A gesture - a finger or hand over sealed lips - bounces from one work to the next, from Giorgio Kienerk to Odilon Redon, enjoining visitors not to divulge the secrets they are about to discover. An invitation to silence our reason, and listen to the whisperings of our subconscious.

Seeking light

It is only by accepting this invitation that you will be granted access to the Temple, the second stage of the journey of initiation, which will lead you to discover the secrets of esoteric architecture and decipher its mysterious symbols.

Waiting to greet you, at the exit, is Light: auras, emanations and luminous beams. Representations of physical and spiritual phenomena, featuring in works that - from Previati to Mondrian - underscore the passage from symbolist to modernist and avant-garde aesthetics.

However, there can be no light without darkness. Through the next three stages of the journey, you will have to extricate yourself from the tentacles of dark, impressive, perturbing works arising out of the subconscious of Auguste Rodin, Edvard Munch and Vasilij Kandinskij.
Romolo Romani, Ritratto di Dina Galli

The night and its invitees

This is the heart of darkness of the entire exhibition. It is the kingdom of devils, witches and wizards, of lords of darkness and its nocturnal vampires and animals. And, of course, ghosts, starring in a section dedicated entirely to Spiritism, in which the late nineteenth century bourgeoisie developed an ardent, enthusiastic interest, leading to an outburst of séances. These are portrayed through a series of period photographs and two small séance tables, purposely produced by Thayaht and Julius Evola.
Eugene Grasset, Trois femmes et trois lupus
Paul Sérusier, L’Incantation

Looking East

From the spirit to the soul, the initiation concludes with a return to light, radiating from the Far East and flaring up a Europe-wide passion (that is still alive today) for mythologies, doctrines and oriental religions. This explains the interest of many artists, such as František Kupka, Jan Toorop and Nicholj Roerich, in Buddhism and Yoga, and the birth, at the turn of the century, of a utopian, nonconformist community near Ascona, called Monte Verità. Many personalities, from Carl Gustav Jung to Herman Hesse, stayed here, practising nudism and vegetarianism, as an escape from the shackles of industrialized civilization.

A sublime art

Art and Magic is an oasis where you are asked to leave your rationality behind before entering. If you accept this invitation, you will discover that, while it is true that the sleep of reason produces monsters, it is equally true that it can also generate sublime art.
Louis Welden Hawkins, Woman with blue curtain

Colophon Arte e Magia

Exhibition Promoted by

Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Padova e Rovigo

In collaboration with

Comune di Rovigo

Accademia dei Concordi

With the contribution of

Camera di Commercio Venezia Rovigo

Main Sponsor

Intesa SanPaolo

Ministero per i beni e le attività culturali

Direzione Generale Musei

General Director

Antonio Lampis

Service Director | Museum Collections

Antonio Tarasco

Declaration of significant cultural interest

Silvia Trisciuzzi


Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Padova e Rovigo

General Coordination

Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Padova e Rovigo

Communication Area

Alessandra Veronese / head

Serdar Cam

Roberto Fioretto

Alessia Vedova

Claudia Zaramella

Set-up and Logistic Supervision

Auxilia S.p.A - Area Infrastrutture, Sicurezza e Sistemi informativi

Daniele Perazzolo /head

Call Center, Exhibition Services, Guided Tours and Educational Workshops

Pop Out

Palazzo Roverella website |

Ida S.r.l.

Marketing Arena S.p.A.


Start S.r.l.

Exhibition curated by

Francesco Parisi

Scientific Commitee

Francesco Parisi

Fabio Benzi

Jean-David Jumeau-Lafond

Jolanda Nigro Covre

Mara Folini, Museo Comunale d'Arte Moderna di Ascona

Carlo Fabrizio Carli, Fondazione Julius Evola

Exhibition Production

Silvana Editoriale

Project Director

Dario Cimorelli


Mariacristina Nasoni with Sara Girelli

Communication and Promotion

Lidia Masolini

Administration and Supervision

Giorgio Mattioli

Graphic design

Giacomo Merli, Art director

Letizia Abbate Communication Design

Colour and Exhibition Graphic Design

Sara Maragotto / Studio Fludd

Cecilia Cappelli

Exhibition Design

Monica Gambini, Too Design Consultancy

Exhibition Set-up and Street Furniture Design

Stand Up s.r.l.

Conservative revision of works on display

Donatella Borsotti, Fabiana Maurizio

Frames, mounts

CD Studio d'Arte, Padova

Transports and Accrochage

ArterÏa, Venezia



Press Office

Studio Esseci di Sergio Campagnolo, Padova

Ticket Office

Viva Ticket


Silvana Editoriale

Edoardo Quadrelli

Alessandro Vigliaroli


Silvana Editoriale

Catalogue edited by

Francesco Parisi

Catalogue essays by

Emanuele Bardazzi

Paolo Bolpagni

Mario Finazzi

Matteo Fochessati

Mara Folini

Jean-David Jumeau-Lafond

Hana Larvová

Fabio Mangone

Jolanda Nigro Covre

Francesco Parisi

Catalogue entries by

Emanuele Bardazzi

Manuel Barrese

Giancarlo Brocca

Luisa Caporossi

Monica Cardarelli

Carlo Fabrizio Carli

Manuel Carrera

Annalisa Proietti Cigniti

Carla Cerutti

Lucia Collarile

Giacomo Coronelli

Niccolò D'Agati

Giovanna Caterina de Feo

Mario Finazzi

Margherita Fochessati

Edoardo Fontana

Jean-David Jumeau-Lafond

Tobias Kämpf

Lisa Masolini

Ian Millman

Marie-Ange Namy

Michele Olzi

Valeria Pagnini

Francesco Parisi

Ilaria Piazza

Julija Račiūnaité

Lucie Rychnová

Chiara Stefani

Petra Vugrinec