101. Antonio Leto (1844 – 1913)

Born in Montréal (Palermo), Leto was an impressionistic Italian painter. In 1861, sponsored by his uncle, he moved to study in Palermo
(under L. Barba and Luigi Lojacono) adopting the style and genre (i.e. landscapes, interior …) of Filippo Palazzo.

In 1864 he moved to Naples, attracted by the “Scuola of Reina” style of painting fostered by Giuseppe De Nittis. In Naples, he painted in oil, tempera, and watercolor. By 1870, Leto had won a silver medal at the Mosta Artistica di Palermo with the painting “Il Ritorno dal Pascolo” and a gold medal at the Regional Exposition of Siracusa for “La Bufera”. In 1872, he sent “A Winter’s day in Sicily” to the Brera exposition.

In 1873 Leto travelled to Rome where he met Francesco Paolo Michetti and painted “Alla Villa Borges” and “Un contadino Romano”, exhibited at the 10th Promotrice in Naples. In 1874-75 he won a Sicilian stipend to study in Rome with his work “La Raccolta delle Olive”

In 1876–1878, he traveled to Florence where he painted cityscapes including “Case a Viareggio”, “Ponte di Santa Trinita'”, and “Passeggiata alle Cascine”. After selling many of his works through the Galleria Pisani, in 1879 he moved to Paris invited by A. Goupil of the Goupil Gallery. In 1880, he painted “Vecchia Parigi” and “Le bois de Boulogne”. By 1880, he returned to Palermo, where he decorated with lively vedute and genre scenes, the room of the Villa ai Colli (now Opera Pia Istituto Pignatelli).

I Funaki a Torre del Greco, Antonio Leto
I Funaki a Torre del Greco, Antonio Leto

After the 1880s, his health did not allow him to travel much, but he was prolific in sending paintings to exhibitions. He moved to Capri in 1882. His “I funari di Torre del Greco” (1883) was celebrated at the National Exposition of Fine Arts of Rome, and now hangs in the Chamber of Deputies. Over the next decade many of this subjects focused on seascapes or seashore activities.

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1. Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonio_Leto


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