Maria Stuarda Varetti - Life & Review
Maria Stuarda Varetti was born in Lucca (Italy), where she first completed her early years of
education, at the local Art Institute, where she later got her diploma at the Academy of Fine Arts in
In those years, she was already exhibiting her works and displaying in personal exhibitions.
She then moved to Somalia, where she taught design and history of art in Italian schools. She
also worked on mural design for the State departments and President of the Republic in the same
From 1967 to 1970 she designed several series of stamps for the State of Somalia.
Once she returned to Italy she took history of art courses organized by the University of Pisa and
directed by C.L. Ragghianti.
She was responsable for the department of Mural Design at the Institute of Art A.Passaglia and for
Picture Discipline at the Art High Scool in Lucca.
She has held many personal exhibitions in Italy and abroad, in collaboration with important art
retaiIers and major international art galleries.
The fine china collections she designed and executed in Germany and Japan have been
displayed for many years, in a window at Harrods in London.
At present she is also working in the United States exhibiting in her gallery of Chicago - see
"Gallery Guide" - April issue `98, pag 20 mw.
When in Lucca, she works in her studio, Via Guinigi , 8 - 55100 LUCCA -
Work Phone: +39-583-490376
Home Phone: +39-583-467475
" She left for love: Maria Stuarda
Varetti met a young Somali and left
the Painted Palace where she lived
immersed in Lucca's winding streets.
She found herself far awvay, beyond the
River Giuba on the borders of Kenya. Her
husband's house was in the middie of the
savannah, an endless expanse of grassland
in the desert.
A few hundred yards away flowed the
River Giuba where slimy hippopotamus
heads bobbed up and down,
What solitude for somone who comes
from the bustling narrow streets of Lucca!
The nearest settlement was Kisimaio, a
town about the size of Camaiore; in the
rainy season it took four days to get there.
Maria Stuarda Varetti had dedicated
herself to design and painting from
adolescence and had taken her diploinas
after studying at Art Schools.
And so in that savannah populated by
lions, near the Giuba with its wild beasts,
suddenly Varetti started all over again,
covering paper with her signs, dipping her
brushes into paint, and resuming the
artist's professioin that had been her first
love in life.
And here was the surprise, the play of
fantasy, the secret essence of art.
Varetti, a Lucchese from an age-old
civilisation, there, in the savannah did not
take to paint crouching lions, half-submerged
crocodiles or dark-faced natives.
Instead the Gods of Olympus, the heroes
and heroines that had enchanted her in
infancy were reborn and filled her life.
Circe with Ulysses and his comrades: the
Danae, the dying Adonis, the Judgement
of Paris, Venus looking at herself in the
Varetti flung herself into telling these
tales not at all in a effete way, and
rejecting all childish aspects.
Instead she painted with satire, with a
touch of mockery and sardonic humour:
look at Paris iutent on measuring those
bellies, or bare bosomed Leda making use
of the swan!
At the same time she did not forget
about pure beauty: indeed, she superbly
portrayed it as in the case of the portrait
of "Venus in front of the mirror".
Maria Stuarda Varetti has therefore been
modern and original, with a moralistic
and satirical lash which is also reflected in
her paintings dedicated to the Deadly Sins
and the commitment she has put into her
"Homages to the great painters".
The artist Varetti now presents herself
in her native city of Lacca where she has
returned to her nest. Let us honour her for
her courage and talent because she merits