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 Dario Mecatti  (1909 - 1976)

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Lived/Active: Italy/Brazil/Africa      Known for: impressionist Islamic scene painting, Orientalist

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Ad Code: 3
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
La place Jamaa el Fna, Marrakech
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Dario Mecatti (Florence, Italy 1909 - Sao Paolo, Brazil 1976)
Dario Mecatti was born in Florence, Italy on December 14, 1909.  In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Mecatti was tutored in art by the Florentine painter, Camillo Innocenti. With the threat of war in Europe, the young artist emigrated to North Africa in 1933 where he painted in the style of the Orientalist masters.  Mecatti became known for his impressionistic scenes of Bedouin camps, casbahs, caravans, etc.  In his early years, the artist traveled extensively, visiting several Islamic countries such as Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Turkey, and Libya.  While residing in Tripoli, Mecatti studied with the well-known Orientalist, Egidio Tonti, and later exhibited his Middle Eastern works with those of Renzo Gori.
After living in Africa for nearly seven years, the artist relocated to Brazil.  Initially, he worked in Rio de Janeiro, Juiz de Fora, Belo Horizonte, and Ouro Preto.  In 1941, the artist moved to Sao Paolo, which became his permanent residence.
During WWII, Mecatti exhibited his paintings in the Galleria Fiorentina which was owned by the artist, Mario Benedetti.  When the war ended, Mecatti married the painter, Maria da Paz, whom he had met in 1939 while traveling through Europe.  Together, they opened a studio in their home at Rua Feliciano Maia.  For over twenty years, Mecatti held periodic exhibitions of his work in his home studio.  He also participated in art exhibitions in the major cities of Europe (e.g., Paris, Barcelona, Cannes, Milan, Lisbon, Berlin, etc.) and Latin America (e.g., Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Sao Paolo).  Mecatti's work was also handled by the art dealer, Ezio Barbini, owner of Galeria Internacional.
Dario Mecatti was an influential figure in the Brazilian art world.  In 1950, an exhibition of the artist's work was held at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Brazil. 

Mecatti taught art for many years and encouraged his students to "paint your time," i.e., paint what they saw around them.  The artist had a coterie of followers known as the "Grupo Dos Sete" or Group of Seven: Menase Vaidergorn, Antonio Pascotto, Sullivan Gaspar, Sílvia Reali-Servadei, Diva Buairide, Ezio Monari (Munnari) and Jose Luiz Messina.  When Mecatti died suddenly in July 1976, the Group of Seven put together a retrospective of the artist's work in Sao Paolo.
Throughout his life, Mecatti mastered many different artistic styles.  His work evolved over the course of his long career.  In his native country, Mecatti's first works were posters produced for his cousin's theater. He later painted luminous landscapes and charming scenes of country, coastal, and town life in Europe.  His second artistic phase focused on Orientalist scenes of everyday life in North Africa.  In his later years, Mecatti's work became more abstract and avant-garde.  His Brazilian paintings typically depict colorful, elongated figures in the mid-twentieth century style.

Submitted by Tina Kasper

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