Born in Rome in 1942, Luciano Ventrone studied art at Rome’s Liceo Artistico and enrolled in an architecture progam in the mid-1960s. He ended his coursework, however, in 1968 in order to devote his time to painting. During this period, he distinguished himself in anatomical study; this close attention to detail would become a hallmark of his work. Ventrone had his first solo exhibition in 1963, at age 21, and has shown his paintings consistently since then, both in Italy and abroad.
Throughout his career, he has explored the possibilities of sight and optics. By the 1980s, he developed this interest into a close reading of the details of his subjects. These paintings led to his signature style, characterized by brilliant lighting and meticulous representation.
It is Ventrone’s technique that grants his subjects an intense clarity. First, the artist carefully stages his still lifes and his figures under strong artificial lighting. He then photographs them and paints from the photographs. This approach creates a kind of contemporary camera obscura, illuminating details that are not visible through ordinary sight. As Edward Lucie-Smith has observed, Ventrone’s paintings “make us see more than we could see unaided. They offer not only the outer appearance but also the inner nature of the objects they present.”
In addition to regular gallery and museum exhibitions, Ventrone has also completed public projects; in 1974 the city of Cassino comissioned him to create a large-scale fresco for a court building, and in 2002 he painted portraits of Italian Presidents Nicola Mancino and Marcello Pera for the Senate building. He lives and works in Rome and in Collelongo, L’Aquila.