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A Sicilian Smile

Posted by Suzanne on 16 Sep 2017



An intriguing smile

There is a portrait hanging in a small museum in Cefalu of an unknown man which 'some claim ... is a pirate from the Sicilian island of Lipari'.

Simply titled, The Unknown Man, (Ritratto di Ignoto) this small oil, 31cm x 24.5cm, is the masterpiece of Antonello da Messina, painted in 1470.

The unknown man, with a curious expression, has a direct gaze with ‘half smiling lips and twinkling eyes’.



Sicily's Mona Lisa

It has also been said that the Ignoto's smile has not generated anywhere near 'the attention devoted to Lady Lisa.'

'Men are more intrigued by the smiles of women particularly if they hang in Paris and not faraway Sicily.’



Only minutes on foot from Cefalu’s splendid duomo in  Museo Mandralisca on via Mandralisca, it is not to be missed.

And early May was a perfect time to view this smiling unknown man; there were only two other visitors. 





A Note: Source: quotes from ‘Favourite Smiles in Art' from The Guardian UK 2011.

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