Exhibition rooms


This room is the most significant of the first years of engraving activity of the artist. In total, there are 35 examples of different techniques (aquatint, etching, burin etc.) carried out between 1929 and 1956. They are a magnificent collection of the first period of artistic work by Sassu where he begins to explore the themes that he will develop in his 75 productive years; we go from his celebrated “Red Men” to the “Cyclists” passing to the “Cafés”, the “Maison Tellier,” the social themes (“Shootings”) and the religious (“Councils” “Crucifixions”) without forgetting the subjects that made him famous like “Horses” and “Battles”


We begin by paying homage to Sardinia, the land of Aligi’s father and the land of his first life and artistic experiences which he will always carry with him in his heart; the land of pure colours and of violent light that characterises Sassu’s world; at the same time it also pays homage to poetry, a faithful life companion of Sassu.

The 5 lithographs inspired by the verses of the great Sardinian Sebastiano Satta are a suggestive example besides which there is a tribute to one of the greatest poets in the Italian language: Ludovico Ariosto. The works inspired by “Orlando Furioso” demonstrate the great mastery the artist reached in the technical field together with his incredible ability to translate history and myth into illustration.

Museum map


Sassu the illustrator reaches the highest levels in the 20 lithographs in the collection “Horses in love” inspired by the verses of the poet and friend Raffaele Carrieri in the representation of his favourite theme “Horses,” for Sassu these will be the blessing and the curse of his artistic production. Too often his name is synonymous with “the painter of horses.” This limit will not stop him being placed alongside artists of an international level who painted horses, like Picasso, De Chirico and Marino Marini. For Sassu, the horse is the exaltation of the impetus and the strength the beauty together with the elegance of a unique animal.


The exhibition tour emerges in graphic examples of the artist’s maturity in which he pursues the exploration of the eternal pages of the supernatural mysteries of the “Apocalypse of San Giovanni.” Sassu demonstrates his total control of the genre which we can admire in some excellent pieces which belong alongside one of the greatest printers of the XX century like Mourlot, already a collaborator with artists of the calibre of Chagall and Picasso in Paris. Some groups of paintings are fruit of the experience lived as an artist like the trip to the wild Amazon of Venezuela that will inspire the pieces dedicated to Lope de Aguirre and the wild search for El Dorado.


The biggest room in the Museum brings together the most captivating pieces of the permanent collection. The triumph of colour is set forth in the themes that monopolise the artistic world of the mature Sassu, this is the myth of the Mediterranean in its shining lights and in its mysterious splendour which give fruit to the best produced examples of the Sassu’s artistic production. The examples of “Myth of the Mediterranean” are accompanied by another group inspired by the far away Japan and by the dreamlike world; the “Emperor’s Horses”. To close the tour there are two lithographs inspired by the poems of the same Aligi Sassu and it starts from the collection of poems entitled “In the clouds of my horses.”


The Sassu room was born around the great mural "The Angioini revolts ",  produced by the artist in 1962 on the outside of the Thiesi Primary School. This work, unfortunately, met with a serious deterioration due to bad weather over two decades, after which it was decided to close it inside a room towards the end of the 80s to help restore it, an operation that was completed in 1990 under the artist’s supervision.

The work represents an episode in the anti-feudal uprising which occurred in Thiesi in 1799: At the centre of the composition there is a shepherd who, rebelling against the presumption of the Duke of Asinara, sets off a series of events that lead to the arrest and hanging of several people.

On the left, the island people crowd around him: the shepherds in their cloaks and the women in traditional dress.

On the right, the space is dominated by a single figure that transmits dynamism and energy to the whole composition: this is Giovanni Maria Angioj, a Jacobin, a professor of law and a magistrate, who led the anti-feudal and democratic uprising which spread across the whole of Sardinia. Sassu represents him on horseback, with the standard of the four Moors on his shoulders. A shepherd is represented in the lower part of the painting who is showing him the way.

Low down on the left there is a group of women dressed in black, the sculpture of the Mediterranean Mother found in a nuragic tomb near to Thiesi is the bull-like symbol.

At the foot of the painting we should note the stone which represents a powerful female figure, leaning on an arm in the process of raising herself up: the symbol of Sardinia, shaken by the events yet in the act of moving towards a new life.

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