Bepi Romagnoni

(Milano, 1930 – Villasimius, 1964)


Bepi Romagnoni was an Italian painter, born in Milan on November 21, 1930, and passed away in Villasimius on July 19, 1964. He is considered one of the representatives of existential realism, an artistic movement inspired by the philosophies of Kierkegaard, Camus, and Sartre.

Romagnoni began painting as a self-taught artist in the 1940s after abandoning his studies as a surveyor. In 1950, he enrolled in the evening school at the Brera Academy, where he attended painting and drawing courses taught by Aldo Carpi and Italo Valenti, as well as an engraving course by Benvenuto Disertori. At Brera, he formed friendships with other young artists, including Mino Ceretti, Giuseppe Guerreschi, Gianfranco Ferroni, Tino Vaglieri, Floriano Bodini, and Valerio Adami.

His early works were abstract and geometric, but from 1953, he shifted towards figurative painting influenced by the cultural and social climate of the post-war period. His subjects often depicted scenes of daily life, portraits of ordinary people, urban and natural landscapes, expressed with a realistic style and a palette of dark and contrasting colors. His works reflected his interest in literature, philosophy, and politics, showcasing a critical sensitivity towards the contradictions and difficulties of his time.

In 1957, Romagnoni exhibited for the first time at the Galleria Schettini in Milan, receiving critical and public acclaim. In the following years, he participated in various collective and solo exhibitions, both in Italy and abroad, including the Venice Biennale, the Rome Quadriennale, and the exhibition "Contemporary Italian Paintings in Australia." From 1957 to 1960, he also experimented with informal art, creating works with various materials such as paper, wood, metal, plastic, wax, and glue.

In 1960, he married Maria Teresa Cattaneo, with whom he had two children, Luca and Anna. In 1964, during a vacation in Sardinia, he tragically died in a scuba diving accident at Capo Carbonara. His work has been recognized and appreciated by numerous art critics and historians, and his pieces are preserved in various museums and private collections.

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