Le Immagini della Fantasia 40

The Štěpán Zavřel Foundation announces the opening of the 40th edition of the International Exhibition of Illustration for Children ‘Le Immagini della Fantasia’ that will open on Saturday 29th October 2022 and will continue until 19th February 2023 in the exhibition spaces of the “Casa della Fantasia” in Sarmede (Treviso).


This year, the Štěpán Zavřel Foundation celebrates the fortieth edition of the International Exhibition of Illustration for Children “Le Immagini della Fantasia” (The Pictures of Fantasy). It is an impressive milestone for the path accomplished and for the road still to be travelled, which once again places Sarmede, the small village in the Treviso Pre-Alps, from where it all began, at the very centre of the experience.

Celebrating the 40th edition means for the Štěpán Zavřel Foundation to concretely participate in the definition of new opportunities for art and artists. This is why it has chosen to play a leading role in the cultural and social regeneration of the area, an objective at the heart of the Sarmede Municipality’s “Revival” project financed by the European Union and the Ministry of Culture within the framework of the PNRR – Borghi (Italian National Recovery and Resilience Plan – Villages) call. The recovery of the past finds meaning in the construction of new bridges for art, education, sociality.

Sarmede’s experience is therefore made of active memory, a non-ordinary capacity that allows it to draw new horizons sustained by the feeling of origin.

The first edition of the exhibition was inaugurated in the summer of 1983: driven by a genuine feeling of friendship, a group of young people gathered around the figure of Štěpán Zavřel, the Czech artist who had fled Prague in search of a safe place for art.

Within a few years, Sarmede became a meeting place for illustration: artists from different countries gather here, they are illustrators, sculptors, painters, writers attracted by the uniqueness of the experience.

The exhibition became a yearly event, travelling in and out of Europe, building bridges. Meanwhile, Štěpán Zavřel wove the threads of the extraordinary adventure from his home in Rugolo and also founded the International School of Illustration in 1988.

The Exhibition and the School are conceived as necessary places to realise the reflection on art, childhood, freedom, themes particularly dear to Štěpán Zavřel, which he brilliantly synthesised in the illustrated book – as the latter is the possibility of educating the eyes and hearts of children to acceptance, solidarity, respect and beauty.

Štěpán Zavřel belongs to that generation of 20th century artists who approached the world of childhood with humility, aware of the extraordinary nature of their commitment.

“Illustration as Poetry and Illustration as Education constitute the pillars on which Zavřel’s aesthetics are founded – wrote Livio Sossi – an artist who participates in the social, a builder of tomorrow who recovers the lost sense of the past and launches his bridges towards the future” (from “Štěpán Zavřel. L’illustrazione per l’infanzia”).

In the Zavřelian spirit, the Foundation joyfully welcomes the guest illustrators, selected for the 40th edition by artistic director Gabriel Pacheco: 350 works, 15 countries, over thirty artists.

Guest of honor: Joanna Concejo “Papier collé, the overlapping world”.

Panorama: The Poetic Substance

Theme: Dreams, Memories and Other Poems

Pedagogy: Poetic Toys

For the 40th anniversary: The hope to educate

Selection: Scuola Internazionale d’Illustrazione

The Foundation thanks all those who, with trust and commitment, make the dream possible every year.

The Štěpán Zavřel Foundation


Illustration by Joanna Concejo, Książę w cukierni, Wydawnictwo Format, 2013