U beddu e a bedda
Description by the artist
My Moors, traditional Sicilian figures, are children of mamma Etna, born from one of the four craters at the top. As well as the shepherd boy Aci and the nymph Galatea (also inhabitants of these places), mingled through the waters of a river and a sea, u beddu e a bedda (Sicilian for “the handsome” and “the beautiful”), were created from the lava of Etna, which burns like their passion of love.
Details and dimensions
The artwork in the Sicilian culture
The Moor’s Heads are a classic representation of artistic Sicily. They tell of a legend in which a beautiful Sicilian fell in love with an Arab at the time that he reigned in Sicily (IX-XI century), being betrayed by the Moor, beheaded him in his sleep and hung his head, as if it were a vase, on the balcony, also adorning it with a fragrant basil plant that aroused the admiration of unsuspecting bystanders. Etna, the highest volcano in Europe (3300 m asl), dominates the eastern part of Sicily but is so huge that you can see up to hundreds of kilometers away. In this work of art, its ash, which during the frequent eruptions falls as rain on the nearby towns (and people must equip themselves with umbrellas), was eternally “trapped” in a canvas.
(photo) San Giovanni degli Eremiti. Palermo, a typical example of the Arab-Norman architecture, which is unique to Sicily (Maria Francesca Starrabba drawning)