The Faces Of Power In Ragusa

The faces decorating Ragusa’s Palazzo Bertini send a message. The palace, built in the late 18th century in the style of the Late Sicilian Baroque, sits on the road marking the dividing line between the old, aristocratic Ragusa Ibla and the new, up-and-coming city of Ragusa–in other words, the line between old money and new. Palazzo Bertini faces Ragusa Ibla from the Ragusa side of the street. The three faces on the facade of the building (pictured) personify different shades of power. On the left, the pauper: He who has nothing to lose. In the center, the aristocrat: He who has the power to do anything–if even illegal and corrupt. On the right, the merchant: He who, thanks to the money he’s earned, has mobility.

It’s no mistake. The artisans who created these stone images, certainly with the endorsement of the villa’s owner, were commenting on class and society.

With whom do you relate?

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