The extraordinary work of Renato Guttuso came from his hatred for social injustice and all abuses of power. He expressed his socialist ideal through a realistic-expressionist style, and his realistic art is as vividly alive today as it was when the canvas was still wet.
Guttuso was born in Bagheria and although he lived and worked in Rome most of his life, his sensibility as a painter always reflected the vibrant colours and contrasts of Sicily.
I first found Guttuso in the superb “La Vucciria”
It’s an absolutely huge painting in Palazzo Chiaramonte-Steri, Palermo. The palazzo was at various times a palace, a Moorish pottery factory, community food storage warehouse, government office and the headquarters of the Spanish Inquisition.
I recommend a visit to the Palazzo. They last about an hour, you have a Guide and you can also see, if you can handle it, the Museum of the Inquisition. I knocked that opportunity back, too much horror in the very walls. The cost to me was 5 euros.
I recommend a visit to la Vucciria too.
There are just so many works by Guttuso, it’s hard to pick just one or two, but the Donne di zolfatari is definitely one of them. The Women of the Sulphur Miners shows the anger and anguish of the wives and mothers of sulphur miners in Caltanisetta.
And there’s this painting of Togliatti’s funeral.
Palmiro Togliatti (26 March 1893 – 21 August 1964) was the leader of the Italian Communist Party from 1927 until his death. He was nicknamed by his supporters Il Migliore – “The Best”.
Here’s a small selection of more of Guttuso’s work.