VESPIGNANI Renzo, Marta, 1978, Acquaforte acquatinta originale firmata - EmporiumArt

Renzo Vespignani



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Renzo Vespignani Painter

Renzo Vespignani pittore

Renzo Vespignani, born on 19 February 1924 in Rome, was an Italian painter and engraver who established himself as a central figure in the Italian artistic panorama of the 20th century. Son of Guido Vespignani and Ester Molinari, and great-grandson of the architect Virginio Vespignani, he grew up in a culturally rich environment. After the loss of his father, a renowned surgeon and cardiologist, he and his mother move to the proletarian neighborhood of Portonaccio, near San Lorenzo in Rome. It is in this period of difficulty and Nazi occupation that Renzo Vespignani began to draw, portraying the harsh reality that surrounded him, such as the ruins of war and the daily life of the marginalized.
His art is expressed in various forms: painting , illustration, scenography and engraving. During the Nazi occupation, he took refuge with the engraver Lino Bianchi Barriviera, who became his first teacher. In these years, Renzo Vespignani was influenced by artists such as Alberto Ziveri and Luigi Bartolini, and showed a clear interest in the expressionism of George Grosz and Otto Dix.
In 1945, he held his first solo exhibition and began to collaborate with various political-literary magazines, such as "Domenica", "Folla", "Mercurio" and "La Fiera Letteraria", contributing with writings, illustrations and satirical drawings. His work in this period reflects the attempt to reconstruct an Italy devastated by war.
Renzo Vespignani is also active as a set designer, working on productions such as “I giorni contati” and “ The Assassin” by Elio Petri, as well as collaborating on projects by Hans Werner Henze and Bertolt Brecht. As an engraver, he created over four hundred works in techniques such as etching and lithography . In the 1950s, Renzo Vespignani began to make himself known on an international level. He participated in the XXV Venice Biennale in 1950, where he received first prize for black and white, and continued to participate in exhibitions both in Italy and abroad. In 1956, he founded the magazine "Città Aperta", focused on the problems of urban culture, and began to distance himself from Neorealism, exploring themes linked to the Italian post-war reality.
During the 1960s and 70, Renzo Vespignani dedicates himself to large pictorial cycles that reflect the crisis of the society of well-being, such as "Embarkation for Citera" and "Family Album". These works offer an incisive critique of contemporary society, often through a polemical and introspective lens.
His deep connection with literature manifests itself through his many collaborations as an illustrator. Renzo Vespignani works on classic and contemporary texts, including Boccaccio's "Decameron", the poems of Leopardi, the works of Kafka and Eliot, and much more.
In 1999, he was elected President of Accademia Nazionale di San Luca and appointed Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic. This recognition underlines his important contribution to Italian culture and art. Renzo Vespignani died on 26 April 2001 in Rome, leaving a significant artistic legacy and a profound imprint on the Italian and international cultural panorama. 

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