Montemurro has an artistic-literary tradition that, although it began in the centuries before, it is in the twentieth century that it has shown its innovative scope. Moving forward in chronological order you can validly start from the painters Carlo Sellitto, Gian Giacomo and Anna Maria Manecchia who lived between the 1500s and the 1600s, natives of Montemurro but active artistically in Naples. Unfortunately the village does not preserve their works that we find instead exhibited in churches and famous Neapolitan museums as well as in churches of some Lucanian towns. However, in 2019, on the occasion of "Montemurro European Capital of Culture for a Day", the village wanted to make a brief reconnaissance of these works in order to introduce to visitors the artistic caliber of these personality honor and pride of the town. They are photographic reproductions of canvases made by Tonino and Fabio Calvino proposed with the historical account of Anna Mollica, on permanent display in the former convent of San Domenico.
By Carlo Sellitto, defined by art historians as the first Neapolitan Caravaggesco, are on display: “Madonna of the Graces”, “Madonna of the Angels”, “Our Lady of Intercession”, “Saint Cecilia at the organ” and the polyptych portraying Saint Rocco, Madonna Immacolata and Saint Bernardino of Siena. By Gian Giacomo Manecchia the panels reproduce the paintings “Pontius Pilate washes his hands” and “Wedding of Cana” while of his daughter Anna Maria the paintings “Visit to the poor” and “the Holy Family with St. Anne and St. Joachim”. Also on display there is a panel reminiscent of Giuseppe Capocasale, born in Montemurro in the mid-18th century, a religious and philosopher called the "Christian Socrates". He was a lecturer at the University of Naples and tutor to the King of the Two Sicilie Ferdinand II. In the same convent are placed the statues of San Domenico and St. Vincent while in the premises above, the permanent exhibition "The Painter's Room" is dedicated to the works of Maria Padula.
With Maria Padula we reach the twentieth century and we move into the Neorealism of which the Montemurrese artist was an illustrious exponent. With the help of new technologies, the project "The Places of the Painter" came to life in order to promote her art in a original way. Fourteen white tiles located in as many places in Montemurro indicate the exact position where Maria rested her easel, painting glimpses of the village particularly significant for her. The embossed QR Code allows you to view the painting on the display of your mobile phone or tablet allowing comparison of reality as it was and how it is now.
Such a system brings art out of museums and makes open spaces museums. This happened also with the multilayered graffiti designed by her husband Giuseppe Antonello Leone well evident, considering the large size, in the alleys or along the Montemurro courses. They are the result of the School of Graffiti that the master founded in 2003 in his adopted village in order to pass on the technique to generations of artists. Artists who come here from Italian regions and other continents in the last decade of August to understand how a scratch can generate figures on layered surfaces of colored cement. Each year the School's technical and scientific committee defines the theme on which the artists will have to draw up the work. The first edition was dedicated to his great friend Leonardo Sinisgalli. Leone made the graffito “Ovo Matematicus” for the occasion.
Padula and Leone were not only refined painters and sculptors. Their production was also expressed through literature where Maria was distinguished by novels and stories based on the facts of her time, set in the places of origin: "Il paese è paese d’inverno", "Il traguardo", "Il vento portava le voci", "L’uovo del cuculo", in addition to articles and essays on the problems of art that were published in specialized journals.
Giuseppe Antonello Leone also had the chance to express himself through literature but as a poet. “Vi saranno le more ai rovi”, “Eretico: poesie”, “Venti paralleli: poesie”, “Albe su muri a secco”. They are the refined lyrics of a man who knew how to go to the essence of things to see the beauty where even apparently the beautiful was not there.
The poetic thread leads to another illustrious Montemurrese, Leonardo Sinisgalli who revives in the Foundation named after him founded in 2008. It is located along the course of the same name, in the family home. His work, driven by the double scientific-technological and artistic-literary interest, ascribes the engineer in the Italian cultural scene as an innovator. His mathematical mind laid on the world allowed him to interpret it according to original visions that include, do not separate, every expressive form of human genius. No discipline is more or less important than another. All are placed on a virtual balance of knowledge that never hangs on one side. Sinisgalli has collaborated with major national companies in full post-war development: Olivetti, Eni, Finmeccannica, Alitalia, Pirelli. For some of trem he founded and directed magazines that were a reflection of his way of seeing life. He tried his hand at drawing and writing above all. Stories and poems written between the 1920s and the 1980s for major publishing houses. That's a lot. “Quaderno di geometria”, “18 poesie”, “Campi Elisi”, “Vidi le muse”, “Furor mathematicus”, “Horror vacui”; and then “Fiori pari, fiori dispari”, “Belliboschi”, “Mosche in bottiglia”, “Dimenticatoio” just to name a few. Posthumous works include among other: “Ventiquattro prose d'arte", “L'albero bianco”, “Carte lacere”.