Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Acclaimed Italian painter Francesco Giannini holds 1st Philippine exhibit | January 13-19, 2014

The great Italian artist Francesco Giannini (b. February 4, 1942; Barletta, Italy) is having a week long exhibit dubbed as "Color, Culture, and Faith" at the 2nd floor, Showcase Area of SM Megamall Building A in Ortigas, Pasig from January 13-19, 2014. The exhibit opened on January 13 at 10:30 am and was graced by the Italian painter himself.

Painting is a full-time vocation for Giannini. The exhibit features 58 only of his art masterpieces with 12 paintings made by his son - a total of 70. Some of his works were done in Italy, while some he did here in the Philippines.

Born in Barletta, Italy, on February 4, 1942, Italian painter Francesco Giannini started doing art at the age of 5. At a very early age, he already had a talent in art that his parents have noticed. He would draw and paint wherever he goes.

He studied art at the Higher School of Art in the Sforzesco Castle in Milan under the tutelage of Professors Beltrame, Alfredo Mantica, and Gino Moro completing his artistic formation at the Art Academy of Brera, Milan. Milan was incidentally where Giannini’s family moved to when he was a child. He has since made Peschiera del Garda, Verona, Italy his home base.

Giannini is married to a fellow painter Anita Gatti. When both of them busy painting at home, I asked Francesco who prepares the food on the table, he replied, "She (wife) has to stop painting because she will prepare our food."

In 1980, Giannini was elected member of the Academy of Fine Arts and Graphic Art in Pisa, aside from also being part of the Society of Fine Arts in both Milan and Verona. He credits his continuous formation and techniques in frescoes under Professor Bellomi in Verona.


Having developed a style that veers towards the vibrant and explosive, with his use of various shades of orange and winey tones of deep indigo, all dissolved in a light which seems to break away, Giannini’s works create an impression of mystery, of breathtaking riddles that draw the curious and the art obsessed.

Giannini have also worked on various mural and frescoe projects. He had painted extraordinary works like the murals in Monza near Milan, and the baptismal font in the parish church of Oliosi near Verona, and the works he teamed up with other artists in the Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi, without ever sacrificing his personal style in both classical and modern techniques.

Giannini loves to paint subjects of religious themes. For him, this is one way of sharing his art to the world, aside from practicing his Catholic faith.

Giannini only became a Secular Franciscan, or a member of the Secular Franciscan Order (a community of Catholic men and women who seek to pattern their lives after Christ in the Spirit of St. Francis of Assisi) in March 2013. But the artist has already begun his spiritual journey since way back through his art.


In 2006, while he was restoring murals in the monastery of the Benedictine nuns of San Guisseppe, Assisi he became friends with Fr. Aelred Nilo, OSB  who was serving as a Chaplain for the nuns while taking his summer break from his Monastic Studies at the Ateneo Sant'Anselmo in Rome.  When Francesco visited Manila in 2009, Fr. Nilo persuaded him to do a project for the Manila monastery.

Dubbed as the Benedictine Story in the Philippine Islands and composed of seven panels of jute canvas measuring 126 sq m, the massive painting is a fusion of spirituality, artistry and history to which Giannini employed his trademark palette of earthy oranges and celestial blues and neo-Impressionist style.

Rosemary Clay wrote, “In the production of this magnificent work (dare we call it a modern masterpiece) Francesco has perhaps fulfilled all he has ever attempted to achieve in the course of an artistic life covering more than 50 years, availing himself of all his past experience, his creativity, and his God-given artistic fervour and passion.”

As Francesco Giannini himself puts it: “If others look at my work and are also touched by it, then it would be a great satisfaction to me.”

For more info about Francesco Giannini's art, please check out http://www.artediarte-fgiannini.com

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