Primo Conti | Original prints, lithographs, etchings and illustrated books




Umberto Primo Conti (Florence, 16 October 1900 - Fiesole, 12 November 1988) was an Italian painter, composer and writer.

As early as eight years he began to take an interest in painting, and a self-portrait painted at the age of 11 had a remarkable response among critics.

In 1913 he composed the musical work Romanza for violin and piano and had a first meeting with the Florentine futurists, from which resulted in Conti an interest in the style of the movement, which grew until 1917, meeting Giacomo Balla in Rome and Filippo Tommaso Marinetti in Naples, he decided to join the Futurist Movement.

Al Futurismo will give its fundamental contribution with the paintings and drawings made between 1917 and 1919, when his style evolved towards a metaphysical vision.

In 1930 he married Munda Cripps, with whom he had two daughters; in these years his works drew inspiration from family life: Child and butterfly; Little girl with rubber rabbit; Portrait of the wife; Fruit from above; Nudino.

From 1935 to 1939 he collaborated with the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino with sets, sketches and costumes; in 1941 he became a professor of painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence. From 1947 to 1957 he was president of the Society of Fine Arts and in this capacity he fostered his merger (29 October 1957) with the Florence Artists Club - Casa di Dante, presided over by the lawyer Renato Zavataro who later assumed the presidency since 1958 to 1960. Between 1948 and 1963 he went through a deep mystical vocation and became part of the Franciscan Order. In 1983 he published his autobiography entitled La gola del merlo.

In the meantime, in 1980, with the donation of his villa in Fiesole, he had pre-designed his collection of paintings and his archive, the creation of a foundation dedicated to the historical avant-gardes, which still manages the Primo Conti Museum.