Norberto biography




Norberto Proietti, better known simply as Norberto, was a famous Italian painter and sculptor born in Spello, in 1927.

he is the eldest of five children of a livestock broker and olive and oil trader, who also runs a local trattoria, a business in which his mother also participates. In his childhood and adolescence, Norberto demonstrated an early interest in architecture and natural phenomena. The picturesque landscape of Umbria influences his perception of the world and, subsequently, his artistic style.

In 1939, at just 12 years old, he moved to Rome to work with his uncle, the manager of a tailor's shop in the Trastevere district. Despite some unpleasant human experiences, Norberto continues his journey, driven by his passion for art and the desire to grow.

During the Second World War, he is forced to return to Spello, where he begins to observe his land and the people he is familiar with with more mature eyes. This period of intense reflection led him to develop a deep appreciation for Giotto's frescoes in the Basilica of San Francesco in Assisi, and the Baglioni Chapel in the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Spello, decorated by Pinturicchio.

At the end of the war, Norberto follows his uncle again, this time to Bergamo, continuing to work as a tailor. However, in 1950, he felt the call of his hometown and decided to open a tailoring workshop in Spello. But the desire to express himself artistically remains strong and, the following year, he paints his first painting.

Starting from 1961, Norberto dedicated himself exclusively to art, exhibiting his works in international exhibitions. But his true consecration happened at the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto between 1967 and 1974. In 1971, thanks to the support of Cesare Zavattini, an influential supporter of art Italian naïf, he was awarded the prestigious Premio Suzzara.

Norberto became famous as one of the most popular naïve artists, appreciated for his depictions of miniature friars against backgrounds of medieval landscapes, often set in a metaphysical and Edenic Umbria , considered by the art critic Vittorio Sgarbi as the best of all possible worlds.

In addition to painting, Norberto is known for his sculptures made by modeling olive wood and for the Pilgrim of Peace, a bronze work placed in front of the Upper Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi, dedicated to Patron saint of Italy.

The variety of his subjects is vast: still lifes, nocturnes, Roman countryside, musicians, interiors, wheat, olive trees, fruit, tailoring, Assisi, Venice (Piazza San Marco), Bari (Basilica of San Nicola), female figures. Among his sculptures, those in wood, ceramic and bronze stand out, depicting figures such as Saint Francis , Pinocchio and the rhinoceros .

Maestro Norberto worked incessantly until the last years of his life. He died in 2009 at the age of 81 and was buried in the Spello cemetery. As evidence of his artistic and cultural legacy, a museum dedicated to him was inaugurated in his hometown, where it is possible to admire a vast collection of his works.