Giuseppe (Beppe) Bartolini was born in Viareggio on June 6th, 1938. He produced his first oil paintings in 1958, and, in the following year, took part in the painting competition for the Larderello Award.
In 1959, through the painter Sandro Luporini, he was introduced to a group of artists in Milan which included Gianfranco Ferroni, Giuseppe Guerreschi, Giuseppe Banchieri, Bepi Romagnoni and Sandro Luporini, who were associated with the Existential Realism movement. Thus he began a process of evolution in which he combined his cultural and environmental roots with an interest in the most significant experiments performed by the generation of painters active in the post-war period.
Bartolini obtained a diploma from the Art School in Carrara and, in 1960, enrolled at the University of Florence to study architecture. In the same year he won the first prize at the Italian Student Art Exhibition (the jury included Giorgio de Chirico, Giuseppe Ungaretti, Pericle Fazzini and Fortunato Bellonzi). After two years he abandoned his academic studies to dedicate himself to painting full-time.
After having lived in Milan and Florence, in 1964 he relocated to Pisa, where he still lives and works to this day.
Since the second half of the sixties, Bartolini’s paintings have caught the attention of art critics and gallery owners. The highlights during that period were the exhibition (opened by Franco Russoli) at the Galleria del Milione in Milan (1967) and the subsequent collaborations with Fante di Spade gallery in Rome and the Galleria Santacroce in Florence. In the late seventies Bartolini joined the group “La Metacosa” (meta-objectivity), an association of Italian painters which included Giuseppe Biagi, Gianfranco Ferroni, Bernardino Luino, Sandro Luporini, Lino Mannocci and Giorgio Tonelli, who were active in Milan, Pisa, Viareggio and London.
Being amongst the most intense figurative painters in Italy, Bartolini represents reality, both natural (the landscape) and metropolitan (the urban periphery), by combining technical skill with poetic sensibility, resulting in paintings with an atmosphere of metaphysical tension and a strong lyrical inspiration.
During his artistic activity, Bartolini often depicted aspects the city of Pisa and its surrounding area, making the city the subject of some of his most important works, like “Orto Botanico” (Botanical Garden) from 1979, and producing various landscape paintings from the early eighties.
Photo credits Luigi Critone - Translation by Carlo Gonfiantini