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arts

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Pisis, Filippo Tibertelli De (1896-1956)  
 
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After the overthrow of the Fascist government in 1943, De Pisis moved to Venice, where he soon established a reputation as an eccentric character. He dressed as a dandy and appeared in public with his pet parrot on his shoulder. He maintained a large house and his own gondola. He continued recruiting young men to be his nude models, and made notes about them in his diaries—"delizioso" being a frequent description.

De Pisis chose one of these models, Bruno Scarpa, to be his gondolier. The handsome Scarpa, decked out in the splendid livery that De Pisis had designed for him, also served at De Pisis's afternoon teas, which attracted a diverse group of guests.

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De Pisis was known for his evening entertaining as well. To celebrate the end of the war, he threw a party at which twenty boys--"uno più bello dell'altro" ("each one more beautiful than the other"), he noted in his diary--danced wearing only strings of shells around their loins. Local police raided the event, described in the Giornale di Venezia as an "assemblea orgiastica," and arrested nineteen people including De Pisis, who spent a night in jail.

Despite his growing notoriety, De Pisis enjoyed professional success and critical acclaim. At the 1948 Venice Bienniale a room was devoted to some thirty of his works. He was not, however, awarded the grand prize, apparently because of objections on the grounds of his sexuality.

At about this time De Pisis's health began to decline due to a nervous disorder, and he found it necessary to enter a neurological clinic near Milan. Despite his medical problems, he continued to paint nearly until his death on April 2, 1956.

De Pisis's art is at once individual and synthetic. Because his work is not within a particular movement, it has to some extent been marginalized. Barry Schwabsky states that "de Pisis was . . . uncannily able to pay rich and explicit pictorial homage to other artists without violating the canons of his own style."

Matthew Gale and Valerio Rivosecchi describe his "distinct style" as "fresh and sensual" and contend that it "is shared by his male nudes, cityscapes and extraordinary still-lifes, in their liberal juxtaposition of disparate objects and free ordering of space, the whole suspended in delicate patterns of light and patches of colour."

Loredana Parmesani also alludes to the sensuality of De Pisis's painting, saying that in it "[e]veryday simplicity oozes with lust, eroticism [and] voluptuousness."

The Museo d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea Filippo de Pisis in his native Ferrara has a collection of some two hundred works--oil paintings, water colors, and drawings. Subjects include still-lifes, cityscapes, and paintings of young men, described as voluttosi nudi maschili ("voluptuous male nudes").

Linda Rapp

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    Bibliography
   

Gale, Matthew, and Valerio Rivosecchi. "De Pisis, (Luigi) Filippo (Tibertelli)." The Dictionary of Art. Jane Turner, ed. New York: Grove's Dictionaries, 1996. 8:772.

Parmesani, Loredana. "Filippo De Pisis." Flash Art 110 (January 1983): 32-35.

Schwabsky, Barry. "The Paintings of Filippo De Pisis." Arts Magazine 62 (January 1988): 56-57.

Seymour, Mark. "De Pisis, Filippo." Who's Who in Gay & Lesbian History From Antiquity to World War II. Robert Aldrich and Garry Wotherspoon, eds. London and New York: Routledge, 2001. 123-125.

Zanotto, Sandro. Filippo De Pisis ogni giorno. Vicenza, Italy: Neri Pozza Editore, 1996.

 

    Citation Information
         
    Author: Rapp, Linda  
    Entry Title: Pisis, Filippo Tibertelli De  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
 
    Publication Date: 2002  
    Date Last Updated August 7, 2002  
    Web Address www.glbtq.com/arts/pisis_ft.html  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
 
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2002, glbtq, Inc.  
 

 

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