Pietro Annigoni(June 7, 1910 - October 28, 1988) was an Italian portrait and fresco painter.
Born in Milan
, Annigoni is most famous for his 1954 portrait of Queen Elizabeth II
(Fishmongers' Company, London
). Although he gained acclaim as a painter of royalty, Annigoni chose his subjects from a cross section of humanity. His work bore the influence of Italian Renaissance
portraiture, and was in contrast to the modernist
artistic styles that dominated the middle and late twentieth century.
Other subjects painted by Annigoni include Pope John XXIII
, Vanna Bonta
as a young girl, the Shah of Iran
, famed shoemaker Salvatore Ferragamo
, Florentine author Luigi Ugolini
legend Margot Fonteyn
, and the Maharani Gayatri Devi
Pietro Annigoni was chosen by TIME magazine to paint President of the United States John F. Kennedy for the (January 5) 1962 Person of the Year cover. The result was perhaps his worst portrait as Kennedy would not sit still and Annigoni had no time or inclination to satisfy Time magazine. Other TIME magazine covers that featured portraits by Annigoni were the issues of October 5, 1962 (Pope John XXIII), November 1, 1963 (Ludwig Erhard), and April 12, 1968 (Lyndon B. Johnson).
On 14 November, 1975 Annigoni was conferred the Cavaliere di Gran Croce Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana (OMRI)
Annigoni works are in museums worldwide, including the Uffizi Gallery and Pitti Palace in Florence, Italy; the Benedetta Bianchi Porro Foundation in Dovadola (Forlì), Italy; the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; the Royal Collection of Windsor Castle; the National Portrait Gallery of London, England; the Vatican Museums in Rome, Italy.
There is a feature length, award winning film documentary on Annigoni's life and times titled, Annigoni: Portrait of an Artist. Visit the website at http://home.the-wire.com/~spsmith/. This Canadian/Italian co-production was produced in 1995 and is directed by Stephen Peter Smith. For further details on this film see www.imdb.com
He died in Florence. His body is interred in the Porte Sante (Holy Doors) cemetery at the Basilica di San Miniato al Monte, Florence.
Pietro Annigoni quotes
- "Impulse alone does not make a work of art."
- "The emotional states which a painter or other artist feels irresistibly forced to express are those most intimate states of mind and soul from which may be struck the spark or revelation, kindling a light that shows things in their deepest, most universal, and perhaps even eternal reality; this light we may call the light of poetry."
- "Ineptitude has today, it seems, acquired full rights of citizenship in the realm of art."
- "Life is the greatest teacher."
- Angel, Michael John (b. England 1946 - ) - Artist/Teacher and founder of Angel Academy of Art in Florence, Italy. Studied under Annigoni and considered a major figure in Classical Realism.
- Anderson, Douglas (b. Scotland 1934 - ) -Portrait artist who studied under Pietro Annigoni and currently lives in Tuscany.
- Bressow, Lance (b. Australia 1942 - ) - Known for his drawings. Studied under Pietro Annigoni.
- Ciccone, Antonio (b. Puglia, Italy - ) - Paintings, drawings, portraits and frescos from Florence, America and the world. Studied under Pietro Annigoni.
- Cookson, Dawn (b. England 1945 - ) - One of two female apprentices to Annigoni and author of a book about his studio in its heyday.
- DiPirro, Joni - Painter who studied under Pietro Annigoni. Studied at Academy of Florence, Italy.
- Falai, Luigi (b. Florence, Italy) - Teacher and painter of fresco. Studied under Pietro Annigoni in the 1970's.
- Guarnieri, Luciano (b Florence, Italy 1930 - ) - Lithographer and painter who studied under Pietro Annigoni.
- Long IV, Benjamin F. (b. North Carolina, USA 1945 - ) - Teacher and painter mostly known for his frescos. Studied under Pietro Annigoni.
- Pistolesi, Silvestro (b. Florence, Italy 1943 - ) - Painter of landscape and frescos. Studied under Pietro Annigoni.
- Rosse, Nicholas St.John (b. London, England 1945 - ) - Artist in the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, the Royal West of England Academy and the Royal Society of Marine Artists. Studied under Pietro Annigoni for three years.
- Shanks, Nelson (b Bucks County, PA USA 1937 - ) - The most famous student to be produced by Annigoni. Teacher and portrait painter who studied at the Art's Student League and with Pietro Annigoni. Started the Studio Incamminati in Philadelphia, PA.
- Tosoni, Fiorello (b. Italy) - Portrait painter using the oil tempera technique learned from his study with Pietro Annigoni.
- White, Nelson Holbrook (b. New London, Connecticut 1932 - ) - Painter and long time apprentice of Pietro Annigoni. Both his father and grandfather where also consider famous American artists.
- Wraith, Robert (b. London, England) - Portrait painter who is part of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters in England. Studied under Pietro Annigoni. Known for pencil and charcoal drawings.