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The Mine

With a Sardinian father, the Milanese Sassu has shown a particular attention to the history, culture, and nature of the land of his roots since the 1950s.

His first significant work with a Sardinian reference is the fresco The Mine, of 1950, on the theme of work in the mines at Monteponi, which finds its place in the framework of reality painting of the post-war years, marked by political and civic commitment. A grandiose vision of an important episode in Sardinian history is presented in another, later fresco, The Angevis Uprising, painted in Thiesi in 1962.


Prickly Pears
in the Sulcis Area

In later paintings Sassu moves his focus to the Sardinian landscape and customs, giving us works which offer a visual experience of nature - similar to what he would later do with Majorca - based on wonder at the beauty of the places and the surprising effects and chromatic play produced by the light. Contact with the nature of the island brought about also a transformation of the color adopted by the artist in his landscape paintings, in the sense of a more intense luminosity. This change can be discerned in Sardinian paintings like Elci a Ortobene of 1957, Prickly Pears in the Sulcis Area of 1959, Il lago blu of 1960, and especially in La salida de Don Quijote of 1963 (set on the Sardinian island of San Pietro).

His point of arrival would be, above all in the subsequent paintings of Majorca, an apparent arbitrariness of palette: in these works everything is born from a precise and real visual stimulus, however violently intensified and altered by the suggestions of particular conditions of light.