In the period following the last world war, at the turn of the forties and fifties, the small medieval village of Cervo, overlooking the sea, exercised a special charm on a group of artists and intellectuals, in particular Piedmontese, who chose it as summer residence, creating a rich artistic and cultural center. Many of these characters knew the Riviera di Ponente because influenced by the strong bond between Carlo Levi and Liguria, chosen as a place of reflection and inspiration for his work. From the second half of the twentieth century, a small community of Turin painters was formed: among the first to arrive was the artist Francesco Casorati Pavarolo, son of Felice Casorati, then Piero Martina, Sergio Saroni, Romano Campagnoli and Francesco Menzio arrived.
The small Ligurian center became an intellectual forge that also involved writers such as Henry Furst who made known the works of Montale, Moravia, Soldati, Landolfi, Zavattini, Palazzeschi and others abroad, translating Jünger, Douglas, Sombart, Sackville into Italian – West and Walschap.
It was also in Cervo that the first meetings began between famous musicians such as Sergio Liberovic with Italo Calvino and Emilio Jona who gave birth to the “Cantacronache” movement which opposed the consumer song. In this environment, so fervent, in 1956, the Autonomous Tourist Company decided to start a national art competition, aiming at the formation of a small nucleus of contemporary art, in which numerous Piedmontese artists participated.