Maria Stuarda Varetti

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 Florence.
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 period.
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
Fax: +39-583-418275
Mobile: +39-3391081636

" 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 mirror.

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 it. "

Mario Tobino
Febbraio, 1973


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