I cannola du re

Sicilian Puppets Papier-mâché
Single artwork


Description by the artist

I imagined King Charlemagne greedy of our cannoli: “I cannola du Re” (Sicilian for The King’s cannoli ). The artwork was created to preserve the memory of the cultural heritage of the Sicilian people in this case made of theatrical gestures,  scuffling dialect and of glances and grimaces, so effective as to converse in silence. The artwork is in papier-mâché, and Sicilian lace (in the cuffs).the painting is in acrylic.


Details and dimensions

Materials: Papier-mâché
Dimensions (cm): Height 50, Width 40, Depth 40
Weight (kg): 1.3
Handcrafted in Sicily

The artwork in the Sicilian culture

By the Governance of Sicilian Artisan Foundation

Charlemagne, the king of the Paladins, is tickled to death in front of a Cannolo, almost hesitating whether to bite into it, as if biting into it would mean for him the loss of this sweet ecstasy given by waiting.  The Opera of the puppets is a theatrical representation that tells the exploits of the Paladins at the court of King Charlemagne. The protagonists are the puppets that are skillfully animated by the puppeteers, at the same time builders, reciting voice and animators of the puppets. These shows took place in the squares and in the small theaters all over Sicily and have fascinated the people since the 19th century. Everybody was waiting for Orlando, Rinaldo, the beautiful Angelica and the hated Saracen, besides a series of grotesque or imaginative characters and figures. In Silvana Recupero artwork the great protagonist is  the Cannolo, the Sicilian sweet par excellence, which in its classic form is made of a wafer fried in lard and then filled with ricotta cheese. The origin of the sweet, not easily determinable, goes back to the times of Romans (first century BC) with a subsequent reworking, made by the women of the harem of the Pietrarossa Castle in Caltanissetta, during the Arab Sicily (ninth century). In Palermo the cannolo is accompanied by candied fruit (typically cherry) whereas in the opposite side of Sicily, in Catania, it is the pistachio (the green gold of Etna) that decorates the cannolo. Another ornament that Charlemagne brings is u liotru (sicilian for elephant ), symbol of Catania since 1239. You can admire it in a statue placed in Piazza Duomo.

(photo) U liotru, in Piazza Duomo, Catania

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I cannola du re

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