Tony Lucchesi (2008)
Tony Lucchesi
friend and art teacher to the family in Rome, 1963-1967.
Many dinner parties at 116 via Cadlolo, Villino 2, Interno 3 -- across from Cavalieri Hilton

Abstract expressionism paintng of Tony Lucchesi

We knew Tony as an abstract expressionist, a strong abstract expressionist who only grew in strength (Y2000, above).

                                                Facts On File: European Art      Nancy Malloy, European Art Since 1850

The surprise is not Tony's authoring a Facts on File book with Fulvio Palombo on all of European art history before 1850 (companion  volumue "Since 1850" by  Nancy Malloy).  The amazing project is painting an historical and historic set of Papal portraits.  The blog excerpt below expalins how the project grew from  a nobleman's commission.

The papal portraits were exhibited in Castelgandolfo, the summer residence of the popes in the mountains southeast of Rome.  A slide show of the exhibit is posted at  and again  here.  

Blog excerpt:

A Refreshing Change in Papal Portraits
by Susan Ann White (2008)
From the blog:

 The papal portrait is the epitome of formality. Usually the sitter is enshrined in his own world remote from the viewer on whom he gazes down. There are, of course, exceptions, such as Francis Bacon’s series of popes who are thrust into blackness from which they survey the viewer, at times with ghoulish or diabolical expressions on their faces. Another enlightening exception is the series of  pontiffs depicted life-size in the exhibition ‘I Pontefici nel Lazio’ (‘The Lazio Popes’), which are the work of the American artist Tony Lucchesi and the Italian painter Fulvio Palombo, two exponents of Abstract Expressionism (read New York School), who here have embarked on an excursus into figuration as the most effective way of bringing the popes to the people.

It all began when Lucchesi was commissioned by Prince Boncompagni Ludovisi to execute a copy of a portrait of his papal ancestor Gregory XIII (1572-1585) to hang in his country residence. When it was finished Palombo had the idea of creating a gallery of popes connected with the Lazio region (by birth, achievements, ecclesiastical offices), not represented in the cold, austere, traditional manner of the past but brought alive to communicate with the public, thus permitting the viewer to identify with them as individuals – which is what they have succeeded in doing.
[end excerpt]

Rev 26Mar09