The Francesco Messina Studio Museum is housed in the former ancient Church of San Sisto, almost hidden in the quiet, small street San Sisto, a side street of the busy central Via Torino, and exhibits about 100 works by the Twentieth-century artist and sculptor.
The Museum hosts countless temporary exhibitions and activities related to the world of contemporary art and sculpture. The entrance is always free and offers a pleasant rest from the
In 1969 the Municipality of Milano granted the building - deconsecrated and at risk of demolition - on loan to the Sicilian sculptor Francesco Messina (1900-1995) who at the time was a sculpture teacher at the Accademia di Brera, and looking for a new space in which to continue his work after retirement. At his expense, the sculptor restored the church transforming it into his artist's studio and in 1974, by donating to the city about forty of his representative works, he also wanted to found his own monographic museum.
After the death of Francesco Messina, the Studio Museum returned to the Municipality of Milano as part of the Civic Museums and continued to be open to the public for free, hosting the permanent collection of the sculptor which has gradually been enriched thanks to new acquisitions and donations, now reaching 80 sculptures and 26 drawings.
Made throughout the life of the master, the works (80 sculptures and 26 works on paper) on display in the Museum document his great technical ability and interest in realism.
Most of the sculptures exhibited here are made of bronze, but there are some precious works in polychrome terracotta, plaster, marble and wax and many works on paper: lithographs, watercolors, pencils and pastels which well testify the passage from the flat image to the completeness of the form in sculpture.
The works are expressive of that vital moment that animates the running horses as well as the flexuous dancers and boxers or the portraits of people - famous as well as unknown- of the twentieth century.
In the subjects in the collection we find a choice of the themes that have most affected the artistic path of Messina, in which an incessant search for realistic rendering and a constant inspiration to the ancient dominates both in the subjects and in the technique:
- the portrait, which is above all a psychological expression and characterization of the character;
- the body, especially naked, as a manifestation of life and synthesis of divine and human, of ideal and real;
- the energy of the movement of bodies in space in the series of horses and dancers;
- the taste for the fragment, so typical of the twentieth century, but which for Messina is also an archaeological reference to the ruins from which to draw the expression of the transience of things;
- religious subjects, on which the artist has also worked for important commissions;
- mythical figures inspired by classicism.