torna all'elenco
La Nazione Firenze - Arte & Cultura Giugno 2016

“The portraits, the beauty and pain. The dreamy world of Gianfranco Mello”

In the studio that once belonged to Giambologna, today a Maestro creates the new art.

“A face that questions the soul of the beholder” While reading this writing in Gianfranco Mello’s atelier we begin to perceive a game of reflected glances, a silent complicity that spans at least five centuries. There is a large door at numbers 22-24 of Borgo Pinti in Firenze.
Crossing the threshold, we forget the city and enters a place where time is suspended. The walls tell the story of places transformed into dreams and dreams captured in the colors of a palette. We are in the rooms of the Fondazione Mello-Studio d’Arte, workshop of Gianfranco Mello, once of Giambologna.


The painter, born in Venice but living in Florence since early childhood, had the opportunity to get to know the most famous artists of the 20th century from the very beginning.

Faithful to his art and indifferent to commercial flattery, Mello chooses as workshop an intimate and silent place without giving up the possibility of living and working in the heart of the city.

Inside his studio, the artist exhibits hundreds of large canvases. A particular technique of pigments and oil portrays Florence captured from secret corners loved from the painter.

The view painted from the Studio in Pian dei Giullari or that one from the terrace of Borgo Pinti brings Brunelleschi’s eternal Dome closer to the same simplicity of wildflowers.

The colours of nature and of the city blur into a dream-like vision, perhaps the same as that captured in childhood memories of one Venezia seen through the fog. The large paintings also reveal the colors and light of the Maremma pine forests in all their authenticity.


One of the distinguishing traits of the Maestro is calling to portray the light and thus his need to paint outdoors. Mello’s favorite subjects also include nudes, portraits and self-portaits the latest of which was recentlly requested by an important italian art dealer. Alongside the depth of a gaze, the vitality of a naked body and the vibrant chromatic force of nature of monumental canvases, in Mello’s painting we often also find a skull, as a warning to the death.
Among the canvases that run after each other in Giambologna’s ancient foundry we discover the nude of a young women standing.
The artist explained that the “memento mori” was included in the composition of the painting because the realization of the work fell on the very day of the attack to the Twins Towers in New York.
The painter also expressed his sensitivity in paying homage to another dramatically unforgettable day in our history, the last terrorist attack in Brussels, in this case the intense red of pain emerged in the still life of a vase of azaleas.
Piero della Francesca and Domenico Veneziano are the reference points of Gianfranco Mello’s figurative work, compatible with his Venetian and Tuscan soul.
Alongside to the greatest, the Maestro has chosen as a source of inspiration the places where he taught especially Impruneta (where he had a house) and surroundings. Last but not least the reference presence was the father of the artist master set designer…


(more news in the biography)

2016 - Restorations completed and entry into the two new rooms