Rooted in the Renaissance – the contemporary portraiture of


Pier Toffoletti is an artist in motion but his journeys, which take him to every corner of the globe, are not just intercontinental; they are also journeys through time.

At the age of 12 he was given two books on Michelangelo and Cézanne and became fascinated with their work; this sparked a passion for history of art, from the Renaissance masters to Italian post-war abstract artist Afro Basaldella. ‘I have always been attracted to the great masters who broke apart the figure to bring out the emotionality of sign and color — emotion at its purest. I feel rooted in the Renaissance, and heir to the great classical authors. My work is an attempt to put my two souls — the figurative and the informal one, in communication.” The intensity and magic of his painting arises from the conflict between vision and abstraction which leads him to work on two levels. While he focuses on ordered chaos and beauty represented by the purity and sincerity of a female face, the drama begins when he creates this figurative ideal within an abstract framework which cannot hold it, and the figurative work emerges to overcome the chaos. “The face becomes a symbol for the essence of our humanity”, says Toffoletti, “nature stripped of all prejudice or disguise.”

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