The "Trasparenti" are translucent paintings in canvas mounted on 'cases' lit from within, of different shapes and sizes, hung through the streets of the village or on the walls of houses. The portable ones are lampposts, widespread everywhere and since time immemorial; the others are rare and perhaps unique.

A distinction must be made between the first work produced between 1790 and 1852, and the later one that only continued (and sometimes betrayed) the original idea. Today there are about 450, not all of which are on display; the last one was made in 2012.

The "Transparenti" in Mendrisio are executed with a technique and materials that are unparalleled in "classical" painting on canvas.

To just say that the subjects of the "Transparenti" of Mendrisio belong to sacred history may be correct, but it is certainly reductive, and on the other hand without knowing their history and without distinguishing their different origins, it is impossible to identify a coherent design