Hidden treasures

‘Tuttomondo', Keith Haring’s astonishing mural in Pisa

Unknown places & works
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‘Tuttomondo', Keith Haring’s astonishing mural in Pisa

Pisa, the city famous around the world for its Leaning Tower, houses the last mural made by US street artist Keith Haring before his death in 1990: 'Tuttomondo'.

The work, a tribute to life and peace in the world, originated from the encounter between the artist and an Italian student in New York who invited him to visit his hometown, Pisa. Keith was deeply touched by the zest of the city, but above all by the pastel colors of the Sant'Antonio District, to the point that he made an incredible mural that became the symbol of Pisa's regeneration in the 90s.

When asked, 'What is the title of the painting?' Haring replied: 'Difficult question, I have never used titles... Nor does this painting have one, but if it had to have one, it would be something like ... Tuttomondo!' And so 'Tuttomondo' is still visible, ready to convey to us the desire for love and companionship between all men of good will.

'Tuttomondo', painted on the exterior wall of the Convent of St. Anthony Abbot, covers an area of 180 square meters and consists of 30 colorful figures joined together: every character, in a special symbolic pose, dances to the rhythm of an African dance and represents a message of peace:

  • the anthropomorphic animals symbolize man's love for nature
  • The three world's concentric ethnic figures, holding a heart in their hands, represent the fight against racism
  • The man forming the symbol of infinity with his body is the metaphor of the endless cycle of life
  • the Pisan cross, the symbol of the city, is represented by the four figures joined at the center of the mural
  • the woman with the baby in her arms is a symbol of maternity
  • the television represents openness to the world
  • the man-scale is a symbol of ambition
  • The hand with five men symbolizes human labor

In his short career, Haring achieved a new way of understanding art, using seemingly simple images that are nonetheless very effective in communicating with a language accessible to everyone. His colorful small man-like figures have become an icon of our time. In 2010 Pisa remembered the artist 20 years after his premature death with a celebratory event in front of his last work.

An interesting fact. Keith Haring also depicted himself in the mural: he is the yellow man at the bottom center, who, once the work has been completed, appears to be walking away from the scene and exiting the mural.

Do you want to discover other anecdotes about this city? Do not hesitate to book our 'Half Day Excursion to Pisa from Florence': an expert and knowledgeable local guide will lead you to the discovery of its treasures!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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