Virio Bresciani
The Harsh and the Human



Virio Bresciani

Virio Bresciani was born in Pietrasanta on 28 August 1925.
His father Domenico was an artisan and sculptor and head of the studio in the famous Ferdinando Palla company in Pietrasanta. His mother Ilda Garbati was the sister of Renato Garbati, the talented post-impressionist painter from Versilia.
After elementary schooling, he went to the splendid Pietrasanta Academy, now the High School specialising in art, where he was under the guidance of prestigious teachers such as Leone Tommasi and Augusto Boggiano.
The artistic atmosphere of Pietrasanta, with its ancient marble sculpture studios, art foundries and mosaic workshops, impressed on the growing boy a sense of the rigour of good art and taught him the absolute primacy of drawing.
He attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence where he graduated with honours in 1953. For a short period he worked in the studio of the painter Pietro Annigoni, whose remarkable expressive technical resources he admired, and where he met Primo Conti and Ottone Rosai. Florence, however, began to both fascinate and disorient him and he was afraid of being seduced by a facile academic Mannerism. Like other young painters from the Tyrrhenian coast, he went to Milan in 1958, feeling that he had to adapt his own language to the great human and social changes of a city at the height of an economic boom.
He then moved in the direction of the ideas of both Existential Realism and New Figuration, reworking them, however, in a very personal style. He returned to Versilia at the beginning of the seventies. There in his withdrawn, tormented, free isolation he continued to observe, with great lucidity, all the harshness and humanity that characterises modern man’s condition, his tragic solitude, hedonistic delusions, social conflict and the aesthetic degradation of our relationship with nature and things.
He died in Pietrasanta on 29 July 2000.