The self-portrait of Will Eisner (1917-2005), one of the fathers of world comics, also considered the inventor of the graphic novel, enters the Uffizi collections and a precious piece of the Uffizi is for the first time a guest of Lucca Comics & Games : this is how the revolutionary collaboration started last year between the famous Florentine museum and the great international festival dedicated to the Ninth Art is strengthened in 2022. Precisely by virtue of this agreement (which in the past edition showed the 52 self-portraits of the artists participating in the project of the Ministry of Culture ‘Comics in the Museums’, then donated to the Uffizi), Lucca Comics acquired from Denis Kitchen, curator of the great American cartoonist Will Eisner his self-portrait, in which he portrays himself together with one of his most famous creations, the executioner “The Spirit: objective”, as a gift to the Uffizi Gallery. For their part, the Uffizi symbolically displays the cartoon attributed to the Bolognese painter Agostino Carracci, one of the first masters of caricature, a graphic style precursor of comics, for the duration of the Lucca Comics 2022 edition. In dialogue with this work, the self-portrait of Will Eisner is placed, which, at the end of the event, will enter the Uffizi collections. And there is a third protagonist, in this exhibition corner with a strong symbolic value: the self-portrait of the Master of Comics 2022, the recipient of the prestigious award assigned annually by Lucca Comics together with the Uffizi and reserved for the great names of the Ninth Art. Once the event is over, it too will go to Florence, in the collection of the Gallery. To inaugurate the special exhibition today were the director of the Uffizi Galleries Eike Schmidt, the mayor of Lucca Mario Pardini, the president of Lucca Crea Francesca Fazzi, the director of Lucca Comics & Games Emanuele Vietina. The director of the Uffizi, Eike Schmidt, said: “In the seventeenth century, Cardinal Leopoldo de ‘Medici, a great and unscrupulous collector, collected ancient works but above all contemporary art, self-portraits, drawings and sketches, without stopping in front of gender hierarchies. are now venerated and studied in the museum. In its spirit, the Uffizi is open to the most illustrious examples of comics, a graphic form in all respects among the most representative of modern culture “. The mayor of Lucca, Mario Pardini, observed:” This renewal of the protocol between Uffizi and Lucca Comics is only the latest, definitive certification of comics as an art form. A path – the one that led to the definition of the term Ninth Art, now in common use – that starts from afar, passing from the pop art of Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol to get to the comic contamination of Banksy’s works. A link – that between art and comics – which is nourished by a strong ico value nico: the style of the most famous authors of the Ninth Art is often inspired by the painting of the past to create characters and situations that have now entered the collective imagination of today “. Francesca Fazzi, president of Lucca Crea, said:” A protocol is the one signed between Uffizi and Lucca Crea which again this year, with significant and concrete acts, to the promotion of comics through an active synergy between our Festival and the prestigious Gallery; thus speaking to the world of a Tuscany of art and creativity open to confrontation and dialogue between the themes and languages of history and contemporaneity “. Finally Emanuele Vietina, director of Lucca Comics & Games:” It is an honor to continue this collaboration with Uffizi Galleries. From 2020, in the darkest hour, the seeds have sprouted to think of new ways to enhance the Ninth Art, intermingling the comic works with the most classic artistic expressions. Thanks to the vision of our friend Eike Schmidt, we have worked to give space to comics in a symbolic place of world culture, bringing self-portraits of some of the most important contemporary Italian cartoonists to the Uffizi rooms. And now Will Eisner, the Master who codified a language, that of the graphic novel, giving new shape to a revolution in storytelling through images. Knowing that his precious self-portrait will be exhibited thanks to the contribution of Lucca Comics & Games in one of the most famous museums in the world is a historic moment in the history of the Festival, for our community. “FOCUS ON WILL EISNERWill Eisner was born on March 6, 1917 in Brooklyn, New York, as William Erwin Eisner. Upon his death on January 3, 2005 from complications after an open heart operation, Eisner was now internationally recognized as one of the giants of sequential art, a term he himself had coined In a career spanning nearly seventy years and spanning eight decades – from the dawn of comic books to the advent of digital comics – Eisner was truly “the Orson Welles of comics”, the father of the graphic novel. broke new ground in the development of visual fiction and comic language, and was the creator of characters such as The Spirit, John Law, Lady Luck, Mr. Mystic, Uncle Sam, Blackhawk, Sheena and countless others. of the comic industry, the Eisner Awards, are named after him. Recognized as the ‘Oscars’ of American comics, the Eisner Awards are presented annually in front of a lively audience during Comic-Con International in San Diego, America’s largest comics convention. The self-portrait in which “The Spirit” draws its creator is the most iconic image of Eisner, still used in the communication of the award named after him.