Pitigliani: The Complete Works

Letizia Pitigliani (Photo Claude Rolo)

Captured here are the exuberant career and personality of Letizia Pitigliani with a comprehensive presentation of her paintings, graphic designs, and writings.

Pitigliani was born in Rome and eventually studied with Roberto Melli at Rome's Accademia di Belle Arti, firmly rooting her art in the metaphysical "Scuola Romana". She spent her early childhood in the United States and now lives and works primarily in New York. An American boldness and directness are felt in the artist's clean, bouyant colors and strong striking compositions, qualities balanced by a transcendent European classicism and formality. Her work thus combines the sensibilities of two cultures, and its appeal is certainly magnified by this paradoxical combination.

Available at this site are an album of paintings and poems inspired by carnival in Venice and the series of more than fifty paintings, including many commemorative New York City views, that have been reproduced on hundreds of thousands of posters since 1976. Also included is the artist's "scrapbook" of notes on her work, her ideas, and her life, illustrated with her paintings and drawings along with photographs and other memorabilia.

Ranging from hard-edged scenes of urban solitude to festive celebrations tinged with a disquieting poetry, Pitigliani's works are vitally modern yet timeless. Uniting them all are the artist's consummate technique and unique, often surrealistic vision.

Modern art historian Fabio Benzi, who wrote the Introduction, teaches at Naples' Accademia di Belie Arti and the University of Udine. Additional texts are by a range of authorities, including Richard McLanathan, an art historian, author, curator, and former director of the Association of American Museums; painter Roberto Melli, a modern master and a pivotal force in the Italian art movement "Valori Plastici"; architect-designer Lella Vignelli, who heads Vignelli Associates with her husband, Massimo; and publicists Sidney Frigand and Howard Rubenstein.


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by Roberto Melli, 1954

Letizia Pitigliani, the daughter of an Italian father and a Dutch mother, arrived in my class at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome when she was only fifteen years old. She was eighteen when she received her artistic diploma. Such a case of precocit...

Chrysler Tower

New York

by Richard McLanathan

The idea of the city has long haunted the minds of poets and painters. And understandably, for certain cities, especially of the Old World, have merely to be mentioned for each of us to have a personal vision, a combination of memory and feeling, o...

Hot Air Balloon Festival

Celebratory Paintings

by Howard J. Rubenstein

I first saw Letizia Pitigliani and her work in 1976 at a press briefing in the Blue Room of City Hall. She was as delightful and exuberant as the paintings she was previewing. These celebrated a great and vibrant New York, at a time when the city...