- RICCARDO BENVENUTI PAINTER
Richard Benvenuti was a Italian painter. He was born in Lucca in 1939 and began his career as an artist at a very young age.
He graduated from the Passaglia Institute where he would return years later as a painting, art history and figurine teacher. He will continue to teach in various schools in the province of Lucca until 1985, and it is precisely during these years that his activity as an artist becomes prolific and recognized in various parts of the world.
In 1958 he organized his first personal art exhibition at Officers Club of Lucca. From here many paths opened up for the artist which led him in 1974 to organize and set up an exhibition for the fiftieth anniversary of Giacomo Puccini, commissioned by the Puccini Foundation and held at the Lincoln Metropolitan Center in New York, Chicago and Madrid.
Riccardo Benvenuti collaborated with Salvador Dalì in the realization of the Medal of Augury, later coined by Gold Market in Milan.
The artist was also the author of several posters made for various sporting events such as i Boxing Championships, i World Cup, the Olympics in Los Angeles and the Tour of Italy.
In 1980 he was the author of many liturgical paintings in various Tuscan churches, the most famous of which is Santa Rita at Margine Coperto (Montecatini Terme), of which he oversaw the renovation or modification of many mural paintings inside.
From the 90s, Riccardo Benvenuti began collaborating with the Einaudi publishing house, for which he created the illustrations for the book Gnenco the pirateby Vincenzo Pardini.
In 1991, the Mondadori Associati publishing house dedicated a monograph to him, the preface of which was edited by Paolo Levi, in which his entire artistic career up to that moment is retraced.
Riccardo Benvenuti was also an excellent Italian set designer. In fact, in 2000 he created the sets for the film Metronotteplayed by Diego Abatantuono.
The following year, on the occasion of the centenary of Giuseppe Verdi's death, he set up a personal exhibition dedicated to the musician, sponsored by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and the Italian Embassy who invited him to Kenya to attend the event.
As representative of Puccini, Riccardo Benvenuti exhibits at Museo Nazionale "Office of the Historian" in Old Havana, in May 2003, his work dedicated to "Puccini's women and the landscapes of music".
The same year, in the month of September, he presented his personal exhibition in Lisbon "Fado, Faces and Landscapes", show held at House of Fado and Portuguese Guitar Museum.
Between 2003 and 2004, however, he was commissioned by the Costa Cruises Company to create some decorative panels to furnish the largest ships in the fleet: the Costa Fortuna and the Costa Magica.
In the same year, Riccardo Benvenuti was also the Italian representative at the European Football Championships in Portugal, an honor assigned to him by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In Portugal he also organizes a series of artistic events with the title "The Italy of culture enters the field" It is "The Dream of Football in the Casa Azzurri", both held in Lisbon.
In September 2004 he is responsible for the exhibition "Butterfly", dedicated to the centenary of the opera Madama Butterfly by the master composer Giacomo Puccini, of which Benvenuti is now the official representative. The exhibition is first staged in Museum of the Cathedral of Lucca, to be subsequently moved to Palazzo Panciatichi in Florence.
In 2006 Riccardo Benvenuti was invited by Consortium of Brunello di Montalcino wine as artistic representative of the event Welcome Brunello of which he created the celebratory image still present on the facade of the Civic Palace of Montalcino.
In June 2006 he gave life to his personal exhibition The Emotion of Football, held in the Casa Azzurri in Deisburg, Germany. On that occasion he then created the poster that celebrated the victory of the Italian national football team at the World Cup held in that year.
On the occasion of the bicentenary of the birth of Giuseppe Garibaldi, Riccardo Benvenuti is commissioned to carry out the portrait dedicated to the figure of the leader, on the occasion of the traveling exhibition "Garibaldi between history and myth - Garibaldi between history and myth", which showcased various historical memorabilia, paintings and objects from that period.
In 2009 he was commissioned to paint the drape of the Palio of the Crossbow, thus celebrating the two allegories of the cities of Sansepolcro and Gubbio.
Riccardo Benvenuti is once again commissioned to set up an exhibition dedicated to Puccini, which celebrates the musician's centenary. The exhibition is set up in Cathedral Museum of Luccawith the sponsorship of the Municipality. Subsequently, thanks to the patronage of the Tuscany Region, the same exhibition was staged at Palazzo Panciatichi in Florence in December 2004.
Also in 2004 he is the author of the portrait of Varenne, a painting that is used by SNAI as a logo to print tickets for the Lottery Grand Prix of Agnano, held in 2005.
On the occasion of the day on information, held in September 2007, the artist was received by the President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano, to whom he donated one of his paintings, commissioned by the UNCI (National Union of Italian Chroniclers).
Riccardo Benvenuti was a versatile artist who worked in various parts of the world, mainly in Lucca but also in New York, Paris, Miami, Los Angeles, where he went several times during his career. Of his work we mainly remember the women he portrayed, beautiful, enigmatic, elegant, seductive, made splendid by the skilful use of light and shadow that create an almost magical atmosphere.
Riccardo Benvenuti died in 2018.