Gino Romiti was from Leghorn and was a pupil of Guglielmo Micheli. When he was sixteen he was also taught by Giovanni Fattori when the master spent the summer in the town of his birth. In 1898 he took part at the Milan “Permanente”, while until about 1902 he continued to study under Micheli, becoming close friends with Amedeo Modigliani.

One of the most active of the Leghorn group, his repertoire of subjects is mainly drawn from the pinewoods of Ardenza, the countryside surrounding Leghorn, country gardens and lanes, while his interest in the sea led him to paint unusual works depicting the sea-bed. He exhibited at the 1903 and 1912 Venice Biennial and in the same years painted works that are influenced by the theories of the Divisionists, for example, “Il sole nel giardino” (Sunlight in the garden), shown at the 1914 International Exhibition in Rome and later purchased by the king, Vittorio Emanuele III. In 1904 he took part in the Secessionist Exhibition at Palazzo Corsini, Florence, together with Ghiglia, Lloyd, Vinzio, Nomellini, Galileo Chini, Ludovico Tommasi, De Carolis, Kienerk, Costetti and Ulvi Liegi.

With the outbreak of the First World War he was sent to fight in Albania, where he produced small paintings and numerous drawings inspired by the landscape and military life. In 1920 with Baracchini-Caputi, Natali, Romiti, Razzaguta and other artists from Leghorn he established the “Leghorn Group” and was its president from 1943 to 1967. During the 20’s Romiti was an active member of the Italian art scene: in 1922 he exhibited at the first “Primaverile fiorentina”, the 1924 and 1926 Venice Biennials and in 1927 showed two paintings at the ‘Ottantesima Esposizione Nazionale’ at Palazzo Pitti, Florence.

At the end of the Second World War Romiti lived happily with his family in Montuolo, near Lucca, where he painted the Leghorn countryside he loved so much. In 1952 he showed five works at the Venice Biennial and, in 1953, took part at the very first Leghorn “Premio Rotonda” organised by Mario Borgiotti, Nedo Luschi and Renzo Casali.

Written by: Gioela Massagli – Translated by: Catherine Biggerstaff

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