Renato Guttuso

Biography

Aldo Renato Guttuso was an Italian painter and politician. He is the son of Gioacchino, an amateur land surveyer and water colorist, and Giuseppina d'Amico. Influenced by his father's hobby, his various visits to Domenico Quattrociocchi's studio, and the workshop of the chariot painter Emilio Murdolo, the young Guttuso began to paint and sign his paintings at just thirteen years old. These are mostly copies (Sicilian landscapers of the nineteenth century, but also French painters like Millet or contemporary artists like Carrà), but there are also original portraits. During his adolescence he also began to study the futurist painter Pippo Rizzo and the artistic environments of Palermo. In 1928, when he is just seventeen years old, he participates in his first collective exhibition in Palermo. Renato Guttuso was born on the day of Santo Stefano in 1911 in the Sicilian town of Bagheria. Gioacchino Guttuso, who was a land surveyor and who, in the collection donated to the Municipality of Bagheria, there are several portraits that demonstrate the early genius of the artist dating back to 1925. His bourgeois adolescence was full of stimuli for the future painter. The young Guttuso lives in a house near the villas at Valguarnera and Palagonia, from which he will portray in later pictures. He is inspired by the rocks of the Aspra between the trips to the sea. He lives through all of the post-war Sicilian crisis, in which he begins delineating the architectural and social destruction. Palermo and Bagheria experiences a decline of nobility in the splendid eighteenth-century villas, where the advance of a real urban massacre and power struggle within the municipality shake the temperament of Guttuso. Furthermore, the family is marked by financial hardships due to the hositility of clerical and fascism against Gioacchino Guttuso. The latter, feeling increasingly inclined to painting, moved to Palermo to attend high school and then to University (where he is enrolled in the GUF). He was ranked in second place for art criticism in the Littoriali of culture and art of 1937 in Naples. During 1928 in Palermo, he presents the framework "Shooting in the countryside," dedicated to the poet Garcia Lorca who was murdered by franchisers. His training was modeled on European figurative currents from Courbet to Van Gogh to Picasso. He would travel Europe. Within his expressionism, the Sicilian motifs such as the luxuriant lemon groves, the Saracen olive tree, the Palinuro, between myth and solitude of the islands, which were sent to Romeàs Qudriennale of Roma, merged into a collective of six Sicilian painters welcomed by critics. Franco Grasso describes this, in the aforementioned monograph, as "a revelation, a Sicilian statement." He returned to Palermo to open a studio with the painter Lia Pasqualino Noto and the sculptors Giovanni Barbera and Nino Franchia in Corso Pisani. By rejecting every academic canon, Guttuso depicts liberated figures in space and searches for a pure sense of color. He would fit within the "Corriente" artistic movement, which with disfavored attitudes opposes the official culture and denotes strong anti-fascist opposition in the thematic choices during the years of the Spanish war, and the beginnings of the second world war. Guttoso would pass away in isolation after the death of his wife, according to a testimony by Giulio Andreotti. Fiorenzo Angelini, an archbishop and his personal friend, immediately reported the death in an interview of the religiosity of the painter and his spiritual assistance. At his death he donated many works to Bagheria, his hometown. Many works were collected in the local museum of Villa Cattolica where he was buried. Giacomo Manzù, the sculptor, would make his tomb. Guttuso had no recognized biological children, but a son who was adopted shortly before his death. Fabio Carapezza Guttuso was very close to the artist in the last years of his life, and was the only source of comfort to him after the loss of his family. Carapezza Guttuso was the sole heir of the immense heritage of Guttuso. He founded the Guttuso Archives, to which he dedicated the study of Piazza del Grillo, and integrated the collection of the Bagheria museum with numerous inherited works.