In 1996, on the occasion of the centenary of the birth of the great poet Eugenio Montale, six eminent international artists, Giosetta Fioroni, Concetto Pozzati, Bruno Ceccobelli, Ruggero Savinio, Emilio Tadini and Kalus Karl Mehrkens, designed the cartoons for the mosaics in the square of the same name in Marina di Ravenna, inspired by the famous poem Dora Markus.
The monument, created over the course of the following year by twelve young mosaicists trained in the Ravenna schools, consists of figurative panels with the sea as a recurring theme, and more abstract panels, with highly symbolic echoes of Montale’s lyric poetry.
Through the poet’s portrait of the woman after whom his work is named, Dora Markus, The images convey to our senses all the fascination that Ravenna, and in particular the port area, has always exerted upon poets and travellers.
The composition opens with a view of Porto Corsini, where Montale imagines he has been in the company of the charming Dora, and thus describes the place:
“It was where the wooden bridge/juts at Porto Corsini onto the high sea/and rare men, almost motionless, cast/or haul in their nets
And here where an ancient life / is speckled in a gentle / anxiety of Orient,/your words were as iridescent as the scales/of the dying mullet.
The space, designed by the architect Andrea Giacometti, is divided into two parts: on one side, on a granite floor, are some street games, such as the 4 corners and a chessboard, while on the opposite side, set on a porphyry backdrop, are the six mosaics that immortalised Montali’s verses in images.