Domenico Cantatore



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Domenico Cantatore Painter

Domenico Cantatore pittore

Domenico Cantatore, born on 16 March 1906 in Ruvo di Puglia, was a renowned Italian painter, illustrator and writer. The youngest of eight brothers, Cantatore lived a childhood marked by poverty and hunger. However, at 18 years old, thanks to Benedetto Nardi, he began a career as a room decorator, thus approaching his true passion: art.
In 1922, he first moved to Rome, where he reunites with his brother Giuseppe Cantatore, also a painter, and then in Milan in 1925. Here he began to paint, becoming part of the group of artists linked to the Corrente movement. In 1930 he held his first solo exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art in Milan. In Milan he formed important friendships with artists such as Carlo Carrà, Alfonso Gatto, Leonardo Sinisgalli and the Nobel Prize winner Salvatore Quasimodo, as well as Raffaele Carrieri, his close friend from Puglia .
In 1932, thanks to the help of a friend, Domenico Cantatore moved to Paris, where he deepened his knowledge of the impressionists, the painting of Pablo Picasso, Amedeo Modigliani and Henri Matisse, and the fauves movement. During his stay in Paris, he also meets the Italian artists Carlo Levi and Filippo de Pisis . He returned to Milan in 1934, exhibiting his drawings from the Parisian period at the Galleria del Milione.
Recognised at a European level, in 1940 Domenico Cantatore obtained the professorship of Figure at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts, successor to Aldo Carpi. Here he taught until 1976 , when he offered the chair to his student Natale Addamiano. In 1948, he meets Giorgio Morandi, from whom he learns realism.
He takes part in numerous prestigious artistic events, including the Premio Bergamo , the Venice Biennale, and the Quadrennial of Rome. In 1956, Domenico Cantatore went to Spain, where he rediscovered the warm and bright colors of the south. This trip marks a change in his artistic style: until the 1980s, he focuses on landscapes and human figures , with particular attention to Southern Italy. He paints sunsets, hilly landscapes, the "gnarled" men of the south, the rites of Holy Week in Ruva, and women, sometimes in traditional southern or represented as "odalische".
In addition to painting, he also dedicated himself to writing, publishing his youthful memoirs and short stories such as The painter of rooms (1944) and Return to the country (1966). In 1965, in Ruvo di Puglia, a large demonstration was organized in honor of him, in which Quasimodo also participated. For the occasion, Domenico Cantatore receives a gold medal. In the last thirty years of his life, Domenico Cantatore collaborates with other artists, such as Bianchi, sharing techniques and subjects that make his art popular and recognisable. He frequents the Marche and Montefiore dell'Aso, places that inspire many of his landscapes. As a sign of gratitude, he donated a collection of graphic works to the Municipality, now kept in the "Museum Center of San Francesco".
Domenico Cantatore died on 22 May 1998, at 92 years old, while visiting the places of his youth in Paris. He leaves an artistic legacy of great value, characterized by graphic works, such as etchings, aquatints, drypoints, lithographs and serigraphs, which continue to be admired and studied.

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