1912 - 1987
Renato Guttuso was an Italian artist known for his association with the Social Realism Movement during the early 20th century. A fervent opponent of fascism, Guttuso’s paintings carried a strong political message, as seen in his troubling ‘Execution by Firing Squad in the Countryside’ (1938), a painting depicting the violent death of the Spanish poet, Federico Garcia Lorca. Guttuso’s pieces displayed expressive brushstrokes and an experimental use of color, often rendered in a palette of warm reds and browns. Born on December 26, 1912 in Bagheria, Sicily, he gave up studying law at Palermo University to pursue a career as an artist. He had shown aptitude for drawing at an early age and went on to exhibit two of his paintings in 1931 at the showcase, Prima Quadriennale date Nazionale de Roma. His early style reflected the influence of Giorgio de Chirico in his nudes, landscapes, and still lifes. Guttuso died January 18, 1987 in Rome at the age of 75.