Capri Art

Art as a Reclamation of Gender

From 16th to 18th September 2021 at Villa Lysis, Capri

Following in the footsteps of Mary and Henry Wreford in the mid-1800s in Capri where freedom of expression opened the doors to magical villas and gardens to artists and progressive intellectuals from all over Europe.

Organised by the Italian Ministry of Culture in association with the Town of Capri.

Artistic Director Mauro Gioia

Charlotte Cushman, Lowes Cato Dickinson, John Gibson, Jerome Le Franc, Edmonia Lewis, Marie Modiano, Béatrice Muthelet, Clèment Noel, Peter von Poehl, Fabrizia Sacchi, Anne Elsa Tremoulet, Henry Wreford, Mary Wreford

Anne Elsa Tremoulet
Beatrice Muthelet
Clement Noel
Fabrizia Sacchi
Jerome Lefranc
Marie Modiano
Peter von Poehl
Mauro Gioia


Music And Silence

Ombra Felice Quartet

16th September
at 6pm

Béatrice Muthelet – alto, Clément Noel – oboe, Anne-Elsa Tremoulet – violin, Jerome Le Franc – cello


Ballad Of The Spirits

Peter von Poehl and Marie Modiano

17th September
at 6pm


I Am A phantom Fool

Fabrizia Sacchi

18th September
at 6pm


Notes never heard, stories never told, erased artists who after centuries finally find their voice. Without prejudice, without gender, as Henry Wreford loved to do, the pioneer of inclusiveness who made Capri a freer place. In his footsteps, three rendezvous at sunset at Villa Lysis, a space symbolic of the fluid identities of the nineteenth century created by Baron Fersen, will begin Capri Art's journey to reclaim gender. It begins on 16 September with the concert Music and Silence on the notes of Fanny Mendelsoohn, Pauline Viardot, Clémence de Grandval and Cécile Chaminade, mid-nineteenth-century composers finally brought back to life through the performance of their music by the Ombra felice String Quartet of Beatrice Muthelet, Clèment Noel, Anne-Elsa Tremoulet and Jerome Le Franc. And on Friday 17 September, a number of magnetic characters from Capri's 19th century will come back to life for one night. They will be evoked, in an artistic séance, and materialise in the music and words of Peter von Poehl and Marie Modiano in the show Ballad of the Spirits. The last act, on Saturday 18 September, is dedicated to Charlotte Cushman, the iconic American actress who in the mid-19th century created a fertile community of female artists in Rome. The actress Fabrizia Sacchi will tell her story in a reading of letters and memoirs, accompanied by the Quartetto Ombra felice.

The setting:

Villa Lysis

Villa Lysis, known otherwise as Villa Fersen, was commissioned in 1904 by Baron Jacques d'Adelsward-Fersen, a Parisian aristocrat who had fled to Capri where he lived in exile from sexual scandals associated with his unconventional manner of being.

I Wreford

The Wreford Archive

The Wreford Archive, held at the Villa Croce in Capri, has recently revealed a web of relationships and political-cultural intrigues connected to the vision and existence of individuals and ante-litteram culture within the realm of gender.

In the 1860s, Henry Wreford promoted a movement of women artists in Rome known as the "12 Star Constellation" amongst whom were Charlotte Cushman, Margaret Foley, Harriet Hosmer, Edmonia Lewis, Emma Stebbins. Henry Wreford was a figure of curiosity for historians and literary experts of the time but remained relatively unknown to the wider public despite his substantial role within the political world of pre-unified Italy and his promotion of the culture of gender.

Charlotte Cushman
Lowes Cato Dickinson
John Gibson
Edmonia Lewis
Henry Wreford
Mary Wreford

How to Reach - Map

Villa Lysis

Via Lo Capo, 12 - CAPRI

Villa Lysis
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