Roberto Ferri’s masterful eye

"Impure Breath", oil on canvas, 2014

Caravaggio, David, Ingres, Girodet, Géricault, Gleyre, Bouguereau… these are only some of the artists Roberto Ferri considers as his inspiration. Born in Taranto in 1978, according to Maurizio Calvesi – one of the many critics he has deeply impressed – this Sicilian painter “truly has a striking ability to build, even technically, his icons of physicality, beauty, torment with somewhat brazen anachronism.”

A careful and fine observer of reality, Ferri blends his extensive knowledge of human anatomy with great mastery of color. Vittorio Sgarbi has described him as “a phenomenon, as remarkable as painters from classical antiquity if not more. All at once, he surpassed the figurative painters who were the best at replicating reality. His priority is always to impress. With extraordinary discipline, he reinterprets the great tradition of baroque painting, from Caravaggio to Ribera, from Bernardino Mei to Tiepolo. In fact, Ferri is a virtuoso, bringing dreams back to reality.”

Here is a selection of works by this incredibly interesting artist, whose masterful eye – quoting Caravaggio expert Maurizio Marini – “never stops a the skin (however silky and soft on women, and virile and muscular on men); he digs and carves skin from shadows, like a psychic hiding place the soul can penetrate.”

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September 13, 2019