Artists Past and Present:
Domenico Cantatore (1906 - 1998)
Domenico Cantatore was born in Ruvo di Puglia on the 16th of March 1906 and died in Paris on the 22nd of May 1998. He was the youngest of eight brothers and came from a poor and humble family.
He left his home town in La Puglia in 1925 and initially moved to Rome and then Milano where his artistic career took off and where, for the first time, he successfully exhibited a collection of his works of art. He subsequently became an established Italian painter, illustrator and writer, well known throughout Europe.
In 1932 he relocated to Paris where he got to know and became friends with great artists and writers including Pablo Picasso, Amadeo Modigliani and Henri Matisse.
Whilst in Paris, Domenico also met Carlo Levi and Filippo de Pisis and became close friends with Salvatore Quasimodo (the Nobel Prize winner for literature 1959).
During his travels, Domenico discovered and became so inspired with Le Marche, and in particular Montefiore dell’Aso, that he bought a house in the neighbouring countryside with a wonderful view of the Adriatic sea and the Aso valley.
He spent many summer holidays with his mother and sisters in the house and ended up adopting the town as his new home and spiritual retreat. Domenico was so enamoured with and influenced by the area that on the 22nd of August 1989 his family donated to the Commune of Montefiore dell’Aso a large collection of 114 graphic works of art consisting of Cantatore’s aquatints, etchings and lithographs on paper and cork.
The collection is displayed in two rooms on the top floor of the Polo Museale
(Museum Centre) situated in the ex-monastery of San Francesco. Amongst these are some of his best known subjects and themes from the odalisque, including portraits of men from the south, roosters and landscapes.