Renato Guttuso

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Guttuso, Renato


Born Jan. 2. 1912, in Bagheria, Sicily. Italian painter and graphic artist, public figure, activist in the struggle for peace. Head of the socialist realist trend in contemporary Italian art. Member of the Communist Party since 1940 and member of its Central Committee since 1956. Member of the Presidential Council of the Italy-USSR Society since 1963. Member of the Committee on the International Lenin Prize for Strengthening Peace Among Nations. Academician of the Academy of Arts in Rome (1960). Honorary member of the Academy of Arts of the USSR (1962).

Guttuso studied at the Academy of Arts in Rome. In 1939 he joined the antifascist cultural figures who united around the magazine Corrente (Milan). During World War II in 1943–45 he took part in the Resistance Movement. In the postwar period he was the leader of the realistic wing of the New Art Front, an association of Italian artists (1946–48).

In the late 1930’s and early 1940’s, Guttuso produced a number of antifascist works that reflected in expressive, sometimes symbolic, form the heroic struggle and suffering of the people. These works include Mass Execution by Firing Squad in the Countryside (1938; Gallery of Contemporary Art, Rome), Crucifixion (1940–41 ; artist’s collection), and the series of drawings Gott mit uns! (God Is on Our Side), in india ink and tempera (1944–45; Gold Medal of Peace of the World Council of Peace, 1950).

Guttuso has been flourishing creatively since the end of the 1940’s. Reworking the traditions of a number of European artistic trends of the 19th and 20th centuries (romanticism, critical realism, expressionism, cubism), he strives to create a contemporary realistic art that responds to vital social problems. In his works of the I940’s. I950’s, and I960’s Guttuso re-creates a broad and multifaceted picture of the life of capitalist Italy, laying bare its inherent tragedy and sharp contradictions. The paintings Occupation of Abandoned Manor Lands by Peasants in Sicily (1948–50; German Academy of Arts, Berlin), Boogie Woogie in Rome (1952; Farinelli collection, Rome), The Beach (1955–56; National Gallery, Parma), Man Eating Spaghetti (1956; Farinelli collection, Rome), The Debate (1959; Tate Gallery, London), The Crowd (1960; Hermitage, Leningrad), and others depict the alienation of people in the bourgeois world, the poverty and lack of civil rights of the masses, and their courageous struggle for social renovation.

An artist and a democrat, Guttuso affirms new aesthetic and social values, depicting the life of the people in artistic images that are heroically monumental and severely true. To strengthen the emotional impact of his works, which are marked by the merciless accuracy of his realistic observations, Guttuso often uses sharp, contrasting color resonance, the dramatic expressiveness of dynamic drawing, and a generalizing modeling of volume. An essential place in his work is occupied by landscapes with clear-cut composition and severe grandeur {Landscape in Calabria, 1953; Sunset in the Bay of Naples, 1955), as well as by still lifes that have an emphasized simplicity of objects, and unexpected sharpness of composition, and a sense of the relationship of objects with the difficult working life of the people {Basket, Pliers, and Hammer, 1961; artist’s collection).


Renato Guttuzo: Katalog. Moscow, 1961.
Barskaia, A. G., and Iu. A. Rusakov. Renato Guttuzo. Leningrad-Moscow [1965].
Moravia, A. Renato Guttuso. Palermo, l962.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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The polyphonic response fills the Prada's sprawling space in Milan with over 600 artworks, plus documents, by more than 100 artists across the political spectrum, ranging from fascist advocate Mario Sironi to fierce detractor Renato Guttuso. These are organised into a chronological series of reconstructed spaces, from the domestic interior of the home of Futurist leader F.T.
He also met leading Italian artists like the realist painter Renato Guttuso and the Vatican sculptor Manzu, both of whom - along with Picasso - tempered the visionary quality of Rice's work by introducing a more earthy note.
In this period, an array of new Italian stars emerged, ranging from Renato Guttuso and Leonardo Cremonini to Alberto Burri and Lucio Fontana.
I grandi amori, la paternica negata, le forti amicizie (Alberto Moravia, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Palma Bucarelli, Renato Guttuso, Sartre e Simone de Beauvoir).
Drawings and paintings in a similar vein were composed over the following two years by such men as Renato Birolli (1905-59), whose Italy '44 series captured the heroism and sacrifice of the partisans, and Renato Guttuso (1912-87), whose Gott mitt uns works were inspired by the massacre at the Fosse Ardeatine in Rome.
Nella presente edizione, vengono riprodotti i trentotto capitoli de I promessi sposi nella versione definitiva del 1840, con i dovuti riferimenti--nel commento al testo--alle versioni antecedenti di Fermo e Lucia (1821-1823) e la prima edizione de I promessi sposi del 1827, con un apparato iconografico e fotografico--in parte a colori--particolarmente ricco (dalle illustrazioni contemporanee di Francesco Gonin, volute dallo stesso Manzoni per l'edizione finale, a Renato Guttuso, Giorgio De Chirico ed altri), con carte geografiche che indicano i luoghi piu importanti in cui si svolge la histoire narrata, e con un'ampia introduzione sull'autore e sulla genesi de I promessi sposi.
Particularly fascinating and insightful is his commentary on the impact that this lawlessness and violence has had on the Sicilian psyche, particularly as rendered by some of her leading writers and artists, such as the painter Renato Guttuso. The author provides compelling readings of the deeper currents underlying some of the greatest literature to come out of Sicily.
For six years she studied under Renato Guttuso, gaining a BA with honours in fine arts, and a further Diploma in Plastic and Decorative Arts from the Academia St Giacomo.
This is the first major exhibition in the UK for 20 years to focus on the career of the Italian painter Renato Guttuso. His vibrant brand of expressionist realism reflected life in Italy after the war and rebelled against the conservative art advocated by Fascism.
Egli segue pertanto le indicazioni fornite da Togliatti, arricchite dalle osservazioni di Antonello Trombadori e Renato Guttuso, e scrive pagine infuocate contro Michel Tapie e Jackson Pollock, pur apprezzato da Guttuso.
These are exponents of various figurative tendencies that have traversed Italian art since the postwar period, such as Pietro Annigoni (represented by a pedestrian self-portrait) or the post-Surrealist Fabrizio Clerici, but perhaps the biggest outlier is Renato Guttuso, who is in fact a major figure yet remains unpopular with critics and artists alike, above all because of his adherence to the political ideology of socialist realism.