Luigi Serafini Italian, b. 1949


1949 Born in Rome, Italy

Lives and works in Milan, Italy


Luigi Serafini is an Italian artist best known for creating the Codex Seraphinianus:  an illustrated encyclopedia of imaginary things written in an unknown language in an asemic script -  in what was believed to be a constructed language derivated from automatic writing.

The Codex Seraphinianus, an illustrated encyclopaedia reminiscent of a naturalist’s book or a travel guide to an unknown universe, contains fantastical depictions of machines, anatomical details, mythologies, food, flora, fauna and other concepts initiated by Serafini in the late 1970s.


"I must say that at the beginning, especially, writers were interested in my work; Umberto Eco, Roland Barthes, Italo Calvino, all those people. They were my first fans. They were fascinated by something which cannot be read, so that's really funny."


As a polyfacetic artist, he has worked also as an architect, ceramist, sculptor and designer. Serafini helped Federico Fellini in his last movie La Voce della Luna (1988) and he also designed scenes and costumes for Teatro alla Scala and Piccolo Teatro in Milan.


The most peculiar book in the world


Luigi Serafini has exhibited at Palazzo Grassi, Venice (1981); Hayden Gallery, MIT, Cambridge (1983); Mudima Foundation, Milan (1998); XII Quadriennale of Rome (1999); Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome (2001); Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Milan (2007); Val Bregalia, Switzzerland (2007) and the 54th Venice Biennale (2011).


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