Renato Guttuso

Renato Guttuso’ father, portrayed in 1930, was a land surveyor.

Renato Guttuso studies humanities hand he later frequents the studios of Domenico Quattrocchi (1872-1941), a painter, and of Giuseppe “Pippo” Rizzo (Corleone 1897 – Palermo 1964) a futurist artist.

Self-portrait by Renato Guttuso 1940
Self-portrait, 1940

In the 1930s he moves to Rome, where he gets involved with the Scuola Romana artists, as well as with the Rome’s poets and intellectuals.

His painting initially uses large paint strokes, close to tonalism; later, it becomes stronger with more decisive and innovative colour contrasts.

Renato Guttuso’s 1938 painting Fucilazione in campagna (Execution in the countryside), under Goya’s influence -dedicated to the poet Garcia Lorca and his 1940 painting Fuga dall’Etna (Escape from Etna) reveal his underlying commitment to moral and political ideals, a social concept of art that will legitimise him has the main exponent of the realist trend.

Portrait of Graziella Renato Guttuso
Portrait of Graziella

In 1940 he joins the Communist Party and in 1942 he wins the 4th edition of the Bergamo Prize with his painting La Crocifissione (The Crucifixion) a piece that caused controversy for its strong expressionism perceived as heretical in comparison with the traditional iconography of the subject.

Crucifixion by Renato Guttuso
The Crucifixion 1942

In the 1940s he completes a series of drawing triggered by the nazifascist atrocities, later published in a book entitled “Got mit uns”.

The end of the 1960s, with a series of autobiographical paintings and female portraits, marks thebeginning of an intimist production, albeit still politically committed.

In 1972, he paints the large canvas entitled I funerali di Togliatti (Togliatti’s funeral) and in 1974, Vucciria, one of his most famous paintings, characterised by a strong and descriptive realism, depicting the same-name marketplace in the city of Palermo (Sicily).

Sketch for the Vucciria by Renato Guttuso
Sketch for the Vucciria