African Landscapes, 1937-1939

Drawings and etchings by Lino Bianchi Barriviera

The exhibition organised by Fondazione Benetton, curated by Silvia Bianchi, art historian and acclaimed expert on Lino Bianchi Barriviera’s body of etchings, has collected over one hundred works including drawings and etchings made by Bianchi Barriviera during and after his time in Libya and in Italian East Africa between 1937 and 1939.

The exhibition traces Lino Bianchi Barriviera’s journey through Africa. An internationally renowned artist and engraver, the displayed works reconstruct not only the stages and techniques of the Treviso artist’s development, but also the study of places through artistic expression.

The exhibition also includes documents, publications, photographs, cartography, objects and other materials, mainly from the Lino Bianchi Barriviera archives, which was donated to the Foundation in 1999 by his heirs

The exhibition is arranged in five sections, each referring to the highlights of the journey that inspired this part of the artist’s production: Libya in 1937; the Erythraea colony between the end of 1938 and the summer of 1939; Ethiopia, first in the Amàra region then in Lalibela; finally, the return and the first exhibition in Asmara.

The highlight of the show is the section dedicated to the archaeological site of Lalibela, eleven monolithic churches, which Unesco declared a World Heritage Site, the subject of the etchings contained in the folder The Monolithic Churches of Lalibelà, with the preparatory drawings being shown for the first time, others in the Lasta-Vagh in Ethiopia and some engraved matrices (copper plates) owned by the National Institute for Graphics.

The aim is to showcase the works duly contextualised according to chronological criteria, in order to reconstruct the journal of a journey that stemmed from personal artistic interest and ultimately materialised in the participation in the archaeological campaign in Lalibela led by Alessandro Augusto Monti della Corte which took place between December 1938 and May 1939.


Initiative under the patronage of the Ministry for Cultural Assets and Activities, of the Veneto Region, of the Province of Treviso, of the Town of Treviso.

Iniziative collegate


23 febbraio 2010 ore 18
Lino Bianchi Barriviera e l’incisione
incontro pubblico con Eugenio Manzato (storico dell’arte, già direttore dei Civici Musei di Treviso) e Silvia Bianchi (storica dell’arte).


2 marzo 2010 ore 18
Lalibela oggi
conversazione pubblica di Pietro Laureano (Ipogea-Traditional Knowledge World Bank) con Domenico Luciani (Fondazione Benetton).
Dal 2 marzo si è tenuta inoltre, negli spazi Bomben una mostra, a cura di Pietro Laureano, dedicata alla situazione attuale di Lalibela e alle recenti campagne di ricerca e restauro.


16 marzo 2010 ore 18
Lino Bianchi Barriviera, la pittura e le arti applicate
incontro pubblico con Cristina Beltrami (storica dell’arte).