Antonio Menegazzo, Italian (1892 - 1974)

Antonio Menegazzo

Born in Padua, Italy, Menegazzo was a self-taught painter of circus performers, young people and gatherings of other persons, often in a whimsical style. He signed his works "Amen".

He took a job drawing comic strips for a newspaper in Milan and later on became known for his children's books illustrations. Though he was trained to be a geometrician, he took a job drawing comic strips for the leading newspaper in Milan, and soon became famous for his illustrations of children's books. This did not satisfy him though, as he considered this type of art commercialism and he had always aspired to doing the purest of artistic work.

While in Venezuela in 1952, he painted murals, partly on commission from the Government and President of Venezuela. He couldn't afford paint and canvas so he used pastel crayons. He was fortunate enough to be able to do a life size mural of Simon Bolivar and from this mural he received many commissions from the Government and President of Venezuela. This was the turning point of his career. He subsequently had exhibitions in Italy, France and the United States.

Amen is self taugh. His canvases introduce the viewer to a world of fantasy, populated by circus folk and young people. His paintings are usually gay and whimsical with just a touch of melancholy.

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