Filippo was a plump child, with a full face and a pretty nose. He wore short trousers both in summer and in winter, as children used to do once. His nickname was “Pippo”.
He lived in Ferrara, in a large house in via Montebello at number 33 .
Behind the house there was a wide garden full of trees, shrubs and flowers. Pippo’s mother loved rose bushes above all.
In summer, vases full of white, yellow and red roses were placed all over on old furniture in each room of the palace.
Very often, Pippo and his mother used to go to the market together. Filippo stood in front of fruits and vegetables and looked enchanted at the shapes and colours of apples, pears, onions and garlic.
The fish counter was the most fascinating: beautiful shells were put among soles, pilchards and eels.
Pippo was a lonely boy. When he used to go to “Massari Park” with his mum, brothers and sisters, he’d rather go for a walk on his own, trough paths and lawns, running after butterflies, instead of playing and running with his friends.
In his room there were lots of big and small boxes, big and small glass pots containing strange stones, multi-coloured insects, beautiful butterflies. Back from his walks, Filippo loved drawing the objects he had picked up.
One day he gathered some of his treasures, taking great care in creating an harmonious arrangement. He put apples, garlic, some shells, a dish, some fruits, a glass of wine and some fishes, too. Using brushes and colours, he made beautiful paintings. His father was amazed. He told Filippo that he had done some “still-life” paintings.
Looking at his paintings, Filippo felt like as if he was at the sea picking up shells, or as if he was at the greengrocer’s while his mother was buying onions, or as if he was following butterflies in the park. Everything he painted had the power to tell him a story, his own story, different each time.
As an adult, Filippo continued to paint fish as it reminded him the sea of “Lido di Pomposa”, where he used to spend summer holiday together with his family. It reminded him the fishing boats next to the pier of “Porto Garibaldi” and the walks he took along the beach looking for beautiful shells.
He loved painting the fruits and vegetables that farmers carried on their carts to the market.
And he remembered when, as a child, he climbed up the trees to look down at the world.
As an adult, he loved painting vases full of flowers as it reminded him of his mother picking up fragrant roses in the garden and carefully arranging them in vases.
Still today, after such a long time, his paintings tell us stories about the far away places they come from, the adventures they lived and the people they met. They let us free our imagination and make it fly as if on butterfly wings.