Hugo Pratt and Corto Maltese: with the Farnesina to promote Italian culture in the world.

“Hugo Pratt, the heritage, the artwork, the biography”: this is the project promoted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in collaboration with Cong, which brings drawn literature to Italian Consulates and Italian Cultural Institutes around the world with a travelling exhibition.


The lives and experiences of Hugo Pratt and those of Corto Maltese, his best-known character, intermingle and complement each other perfectly.

Corto Maltese does not live his Argentine, Irish, Ethiopian or Caribbean adventures with the detachment of a paper traveller, but takes us inside those worlds with the aroma of someone who has actually lived through those situations. You can feel the heat of the sand and the dampness dripping from the forests, the smell of distant smoke and the sensuality of a dancer dancing in the palm trees of the South Seas.

It is Corto who lives the adventures, but it is Pratt who has really been there. Infinite imagination, precise documentation and real experience, continuous changes of country and language, detachments, melancholies and the insertion into new worlds, often a stranger in each country, but each time capable of communicating through drawing, music, his smiling profound lightness. Corto always manages to speak to everyone, from Patagonia to the Sea of Japan, from the Irish moors to the African deserts, precisely because part of his idiom is knowing how to listen and how to include everyone. It is no coincidence that Corto Maltese’s stories are translated into more than twenty languages around the world.

Add to this the memory of youthful experiences and the stills of thousands of films, and the pages of books and atlases. Thus Corto becomes our ideal friend, a guide who holds out his hand for us to embark on his sailing ship and with him it is always nice to set off.

The Hugo Pratt and Corto Maltese exhibition promoted by the Farnesina retraces – albeit synthetically – the stages of Pratt’s life and artistic scenarios. There are panels dedicated to South America, Asia, the Celtic world, Ethiopia, Venice and the Pacific Ocean and two others to the biographies of Pratt and Corto Maltese. Each panel shows the texts relating to the images on display in Italian and English.