Ludovico De Luigi

1933 - 

Ludovico De Luigi was born in Venice on November 11, 1933. He grew up in a family of painters who were aware of cultural trends and developments in modern art. His natural vocation for art, however, developed in various stages. He initially trained in the studio of his father Mario, a famous abstract painter, but left in 1950 to live in Turin, then in Rome, and finally in France. During these years he passionately devoted himself to drawing and to copying the Old Masters, all the while developing his own personal visual language. He also became very interested in the natural sciences and in particular entomology, traces of which would later appear in his work.

In the spring of 1959, De Luigi started an in-depth study of Canaletto’s work at the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica at the Palazzo Corsini, Rome, and he quickly became assimilated to that artist’s great ability to merge technique and expression. He culminated his studies by copying a painting of Piazza S. Marco that was on view in the Palazzo Corsini itself. The work demonstrated De Luigi’s extraordinary virtuosity and served as the starting point for a thorough investigation into artistic techniques that would be fully realized starting from 1966. That same year the artist painted a visionary scene which depicted Venice ridden by insects.

Along with his wife, the American painter Janice Lefton, De Luigi left Italy for the U.S. in 1967 and the same year had an exhibition at the Drake Gallery in Chicago. Encouraged by his private and public success, the artist continued to carry out his artistic research. He combined traditional, time-honored subjects and techniques with surreal re-elaboration, envisioning apocalyptic scenarios taking place in the city of Venice. Afterwards De Luigi was drawn to sculpture and made a series of equestrian works and dreamlike bronzes that were loaded with symbolic and allegorical meanings. With the coming of the electronic age, the artist has started using computers to produce his work. De Luigi’s work belongs to many private and public collections. He currently lives and works in Venice.

In the 1980s De Luigi produced sculptures, including enormous bronze horses inspired by the famous Triumphal Quadriga of St Mark's Basilica. De Luigi's horses are now in the squares of Marseille, St. Louis, Chicago, Denver, Perth and Bolzano. As of 2004, two of the horses were installed in the lobby of the Adam's Mark hotel in Saint Louis. For the Venice Carnival of 1990 he created a huge chocolate horse of the same dimensions. In 1999 he sculpted one in Murano glass.

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