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Renato Guttuso was born on 26 December 1911 at Bagheria, a small town on the north west coast of Sicily, some ten kilometres east of Palermo. His father Gioacchino was a land-surveyor and also an amateur watercolourist. His mother was Giuseppina díAmico. Probably due to his father, Guttuso learnt to paint at a very early age. At the age of thirteen he began signing and dating his paintings and drawings which at the time were, in the main, copies of nineteenth century landscapes. He went to high school in Palermo and then on to the university, where he studied European art, from Courbet to Van Goghand to Picasso. In 1931, when he was twenty years of age he had two of his paintings accepted for the Prima Quadriennale díArte Nazionale in Rome and this gave him the chance to attend the exhibition and see the works of the greatest Italian artists. The following year his works appeared in an exhibition in Milan. To supplement his income as a painter he worked as a picture restorer for the Picture Gallery of Perugia and the Borghese Gallery in Rome. He was also interested in commenting and writing articles on art and the trends of modern art. However the first article he contributed to the left-wing Palermo newspaper, LíOra, fell foul of Fascist censorship. In 1935 Guttuso did his military service in Milan and two years later went to live in Rome where he set up his studio and had his first solo exhibition. Guttuso kept producing outstanding works: nudes, landscapes, still lifes. In 1941 he produced one of his most famous paintings entitled Crocifissione(Crucifixion), which is now looked upon as one of the most relevant masterpieces of the Twentieth Century. He explained the meaning of the work:
Aangeboden nummer: 20
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Aangeboden door: kris
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