Meet Rosario Piazza

Rosario Piazza is a common man of Naples, Italy. His art training began in a traditional apprenticeship with Mario Allegretti, where the first words he heard were, ‘Copy this!’

These were the old harsher ways in Italy: akin to when his father threw him overboard into the Mediterranean to learn to swim. He was frightened, yes – but the adrenaline rushes bonded his soul to these passions as his oils since bond to canvas.


Where did you learn your techniques?

Later in the studio with “Maestro” Giovanni Panza, I learned techniques that had been passed along for centuries. It was important to watch with a wily eye, because each maestro would keep certain “Macchiaioli” tricks to himself: a tiny variation of brush, stroke or loading that could transform a result. During my “starving artist” period, a dealer would commission 100 copies at $10 each (no, I’m not joking).

How would you describe your work?

I would line the walls of my studio with a dozen canvases and paint them all simultaneously. Was it art? More like practice scales to a musician, I think. Today, though, I rely on the extensive skills gained in order to produce works using my hybrid of various Impressionist approaches.


I paint a variety of subjects, because I simply paint whatever I feel to paint. I may feel to paint dancers for a daughter, antique boats with nostalgia, cherubs for a client – so long as the inner connection remains compelling, the work flows without cognition. For me, ‘I feel to paint’ is like salmon feel to swim to spawn: the impulse and impetus and irrevocable conclusion are inseparable.

What are you planning for the future?

I believe my generation is the end of centuries of traditional apprenticed, working painters. My desire in the next few years is to bring my ‘Scuola di Posillipo’ (Posillipo’s School) skills to historic subjects, fantasy scenes, and, of course, my beloved Neapolitan seascapes. Perhaps even the sunsets of my new home in Texas”

Connect with Rosario Piazza

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