Gerardo Dottori | Original prints, lithographs, etchings and illustrated books
"I was so taken by this beautiful vision that I have not forgotten, and in most of my paintings came as a protagonist or as a child but always present, my beautiful Trasimeno"
Gerardo Dottori (Perugia, 11 November 1884 - Perugia, 13 June 1977) was an Italian painter of the Futurist movement, signatory of the Aeropainting manifesto.
Gerardo Dottori was born in Perugia on 11 November 1884 into a popular family. The eldest of four children, his father Ezio was a mattress craftsman, his mother, Colomba Luisa Gambini died when Gerardo was only eight years old, leaving his family in a difficult economic situation. After elementary school, Gerardo enrolled at a very young age in the evening courses of the Academy of Fine Arts in Perugia, together with his great childhood friend (because they both lived in Corso Cavour) Ferdinando Marconi, while working at the antique and restoration shop by Mariano Rocchi. He then began his activity as a decorator by moving temporarily to Milan between 1906 and 1907. He then returned to academic studies and from 1908 began to frequent avant-garde artistic circles in Florence. In 1910 he began to collaborate with the magazine La Difesa dell'Arte.
In 1911 he went to Rome where he met Giacomo Balla, adhering to Futurism. In 1912 he reunited the first Umbrian Futurist group, and in 1915 he left enlisted for the Great War. In 1920 he founded the futurist magazine Griffa !, which set itself the task of spreading the ideas of the movement in Perugia. In the same year he exhibited his first solo show in Rome.
In 1924 he was the first futurist to exhibit at the Venice Biennale. Over the course of his life, Dottori will participate in a total of 10 editions of the Biennale.
His major contribution to the Futurist movement was dedicated to Aeropainting: he was in fact among the signatories of the Aeropainting Manifesto (signed by Marinetti alone in 1929), signed in 1931 together with Marinetti, Balla and Prampolini, the greatest exponents of the movement.
Between 1925 and the end of the thirties he lived in Rome writing for various art magazines. In 1932 he is cited as the first example of a Futurist artist also involved in sacred subjects in the Manifesto of Futurist Sacred Art signed by Marinetti and Fillia.
In 1939 he won the chair of painting at the Perugia Academy, directing it until 1947, and always in the year of his appointment he decorated the apse of the church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Bettona. In 1941 at the height of the world war he wrote the Umbrian Manifesto of aeropainting, where he clarified that the true essence of his futurism lay in representing mystical settings and landscapes.
He always remained faithful to futurism, even after the decline of the latter and its "total landscape". In recent years, in particular, his works have appeared in the main retrospectives on Futurism both in Italy and abroad. He died in the Umbrian capital in 1977 and was buried in the monumental cemetery of Perugia, in the section reserved for illustrious citizens.
He obtained the greatest results by depicting landscapes and visions of his land, Umbria, mostly with images perceived from great heights, among the most famous we remember Umbrian Spring and Fire in the city, both of the early twenties; the latter is exhibited at the Civic Museum of Palazzo della Penna in Perugia where numerous works by the artist are preserved.