“[The Wall] to me was a source of pain, sadness, problems. There was no time or place there to play.”

Interview 2021

The painter and sculptor Fulvio Pinna was born in Sardinia (Italy) in 1948. In 1975 he gave up his job as a teacher to become a freelance artist. In 1987 he moved to West Berlin where he later opened a gallery. His Wall painting “Hymne an die Freude” (Hymn to happiness) celebrates liberation from dictatorship.

Fulvio Pinna in the interview

On his painting

Who is Fulvio Pinna?

Roundabout road to art

"No time or place to play"

What is art?

Art v. commerce

East and West converging

"The East Side Gallery is…"

Pinna painted his work on the Berlin Wall spontaneously, in a few hours without a prior sketch. The upper half shows a siren banishing dictatorship from the world; below, an Italian Renaissance landscape stands for the existential importance of beauty. Pinna’s painting celebrated liberation from dictatorship and the new-found freedom in East Germany. It is also a reminder that all people are born free but many live in subordination.

Fulvio Pinna in front of his painting Hymne an die Freude, 1990
Fulvio Pinna in front of his painting Hymne an die Freude, 1990

Pinna studied education and worked as a teacher and for an insurance company before deciding to make a living from art in 1975. He moved to Rome and started working as a freelance artist and sculptor. In 1987 he moved to Berlin, where he showed numerous exhibitions of his work before opening his own gallery in 1995. He has been actively committed to preserving the East Side Gallery since its inception. In 1990 he took part in a successful protest to avert the demolition of the Wall in Mühlenstraße.


„Hymne an die Freude“ is part of the online-tour: Fall of the Wall in 1989

all artworks