Gianfranco Rontani’s paintings are the subject of yet another hugely viewable art exhibition in the Sala Rosa on the first floor of Bagni di Lucca’s Circolo dei Forestieri.
Born in Lucca in 1926 Rontani was unable to make it to the exhibition’s inauguration due to health problems but his wife stood in for him at the cutting of the ribbon:
Rontani’s major work is surely his illustrations of Dante’s ‘Inferno’. All thirty-four canvasses showing scenes from the cantos were the subject of a major exhibition in 1980 in Lucca’s St Christopher church on via Fillungo. It would be wonderful if this series of paintings could again be viewed in a permanent setting.
Some paintings have found their place in the churches of the Lucchesia. For example, in the Church of San Lazzaro at San Concordio Lucca there’s a depiction of the return to life of Lazarus himself.
Rontani has been very active in the Viareggio carnival with a cycle of paintings called ‘Carnival memories’. Indeed, the artist’s facility to move from sacred to profane subjects with distinct facility is a mark of his genius and ability to find significance beyond the merely visual.
Various honours have been conferred to Gianfranco Rontani, not the least of which is the knighthood of the Italian republic.
Since a picture is worth an infinitesimal number of words I’ll leave you with a selection of Giancarlo’s paintings paintings on show at Bagni di Lucca now. The exhibition concentrated particularly on gardens, both flower and kitchen:
and on women – two subjects very dear to the artist.
Opening hours are from 10 am to 1 pm and from 4 pm to 7 pm and you’ve got until the 20th of August to appreciate and admire the work of this immensely respected Lucchese painter.