Sicilian Folk Art

Madonna and Child, oil on canvas, (dimensions), 1983.

Carmelo Rizza painted this elongated octagon of the Virgin Mary and child Jesus, made to hang over the master bed in his home. Such a depiction was believed to be auspicious, bringing good luck and healthy children to the couple that slept.

Our mission at is to share with you the multidimensional culture of Sicily in particular, and the nuances of Italian life in general. We do this through the artwork of several Sicilian artists. As one of the oldest inhabited parts of Italy, Sicily is unique in its history, art, architecture, and folklore. The island was colonized by ancient Greeks, was part of the Roman and Byzantine empires, and for a time was an Islamic state - just to name a few periods in the island’s long and complex history!

Our featured artists include Andreà Cassar, a fourth-generation painter who grew up in Floridia, Sicily (near Siracusa), who now lives in the United States and practices as a graphic designer, painter, and sculptor.

Carmelo Rizza was a well-known oil painter and sculptor who was born, and spent his entire life in, Floridia. Not a travelled man, Rizza nevertheless possessed a distinctive and unique ability to capture the subtle, yet profound, world around him. Sicilian folk life formed the basis of Rizza’s many works. His works, along with those of his grandson and student, Andreà Cassar, form the basis for