Bilingual edition Ita/EngFrancesco Simeti is the creator of a visual universe that through a mix of naturalistic and surrealistic elements – ranging from the botanical to those inspired by medieval miniatures – analyzes the development of natural history, showing its relationship to human social history. This publication is devoted to Simeti’s site-specific intervention for the Fondazione Luigi Rovati Art Museum and is part of a new series of monographs on important contemporary artists who have collaborated with the Foundation. Composed of two tapestries (Alla corte della civetta and Elleboro) and a series of decorative ceramic elements (Phantázō), Simeti’s work operates on multiple levels between history and fiction, reinventing the antique in personal ways and forms. Inspired by medieval bestiaries, the tapestries feature a tangled mass of hybrid and metamorphic creatures – owls, salamanders, sea monsters, unicorns, felines, rhinoceroses – through which unrecognizable human figures wearing gas masks, helmets, and respirators seek to make their way: the image represents the traumatic relationship between humans and the natural world. In conversation with Luigi Fassi, Simeti describes the elements that triggered the creative process: the boiseries and stuccoes of the palazzo (home to the Art Museum), located in a series of rooms that had remained unoccupied for years; photodocumentation of some dispersed 18th-century tapestries on the theme of chinoiserie; and a collection of precious Etruscan buccheri in black ceramic. A combination of centuries and styles, revisited and renewed, in which ancient, modern and contemporary interact mimetically.