Giulio Bellutti was born in Bonizzo, in the province of Mantova, Italy. He attended the Art Institute of Mantova where he earned a high school diploma in the arts. After high school, he transferred to Genoa and enrolled in the University of Architecture. His first exhibits were in 1968 at Mantova, Ferrara and Rovigo. From 1976 to 1982 he was present with personal exhibits at the events of the Festival dei Due Mondi at Spoleto. In addition, he was present in 1977 in Rome at Studio Due and in Bologna at Galleria dei Tribunali. The following year found him in Macerata at l’Assessorato alla Cultura.
Afterwards, while not forgetting his painting, he dedicated his energies to the theatre, working in the fields of scenography and direction for, among others, Alessandro Bussotti at Teatro alla Scala (Trittico di Puccini), Giancarlo Nanni at the Opera Theatre of Genoa, and for Mauro Bolognini at the San Carlo Theatre in Naples. From 1977 to 1990 he also followed closely the artistic career of the American soprano Olivia Stapp.
Returning to his native Mantova for a few years, he specialized in portraits in oil producing many commissioned works. In 2002 he was invited by the President of “Dante Alighieri” in Montecarlo, Monaco to exhibit his work at the Salle des Variété. In 2004, together with Aurelio Caminati and Raimondo Sirotti, he participated in “Canzoniere: Poets, Musicians and Painters Sing of Love” by Thea De Benedetti at the Carlo Felice Theatre Auditorium in Genoa, and the publication of the related catalog and CD.
In the same year he was invited to participate in the exhibition Medesign: Forms of the Mediterranean hosted by Galleria Arte Studio of Genoa, which included works by Lucio Fontana, Mimmo Rotella, Emilio Scanavino and was organized by the Faculty of Architecture. This event was a significant part of the celebration of Genoa: European Capital of Culture.
In 2005 he had another personal exhibition at the Gallery of Contemporary Art at Agheiro in Lavagna-Genoa, Italy.
In 2007: "Pucciniana, Half Serious Ecstasy And Transfigurations" at THE CASA ITALIANA ZERILLI-MARIMO' of N.Y. University March, 21st / April, 20th.
His works are present in numerous private collections, amongst which that of the soprano Katia Ricciarelli and at the Museum of La Scala Theatre with the portrait of Iris Adami Corradetti.
When painting takes the stage
The seductions of the stage, the lure of the spotlight, the cry of
Action! Camera!, not to mention the solemn raising of the inevitably
red velvet curtain, but also the glitter of gilded theatre friezes -
these are the scenes and unrepeatable moments that mark the threshold
beyond which Giulio Bellutti’s imagination puts life into a world that
is hyperreal because it reflects the most visionary aspect of reality.
If you don’t enter the magic circle where the ritualistic formula
triggers a sense of wonder, you are automatically excluded from access
to his work, which has its manifest origin in this formula. However, if
you want to enter and leave the magic of the set you need to be part
actor and part magician; to be transformed into a seducer you need to
have been an object of seduction, and there is no doubt that he is the
first to have fallen under the magnetic fascination of the gaze, of the
symbolic sacrality of red, of the profundity of a black that is opulent
and not mournful, the impenetrable mystery of the subject, the
movements of the body, the spiral windings of the fold, the fluid lines
of the garment. His dedication to the portrait is by no means casual.
Both his house (with its late baroque furnishings) and his work
resemble his passion because they respect his style of life. Depth and
surface both seduce him, as night after night, year in year out, they
put on the same performance at the same pre-arranged time in opera
house stalls. In Genoa it is the Carlo Felice opera house that awaits
him, but straight theatre too puts him under the spell
of the stage world that has so fatally taken over his imagination.
If we then go back to the years of his artistic training in the
sculpture class at the State Art Institute in Mantua, which were to
leave their mark in the sharp profile of his outlines, to his falling
in love with Nietzsche, with the frozen time of De Chirico’s squares of
Italy and mannequins, D’Annunzio’s literary aestheticism and Giulio
Carlo Argan’s conceptual seminars, we find the reasons behind his
aesthetic choices. He has learnt the great lesson of the figure in
space from a series of ineluctable masters: first from Giotto and Pier
della Francesca, and later from Caravaggio’s luminarism and baroque
Füssli’s Mitteleuropean visions, David’s neoclassicism and Ingres’
In 1974 and 1975 he was involved with the undergraduate shows put on by
the Baistrocchi Company in Genoa. After his brilliant debut at the
Festival dei due Mondi di Spoleto, in 1976, where he was given an award
for the stage settings in his painting, and after his involvement (in
the 1980s and early 1990s) with post-romantic quotationism, cultured
portraiture (at times neo-Baroque, at times crepuscular), studded with
metaphors, symbols, decorative friezes, pale flowers, livid marmoreal
ruins, clouds ruffled by the wind and trompe-l’oeil, between 1994 and
2000 he left Genoa, where he had moved to start his studies at the
Faculty of Architecture in the distant 1972, to go back to his native
Mantua, to be near his elderly parents, returning again to the thematic
sacrality of portraits in oil. Reading L’odore dell’India, Pier Paolo
Pasolini’s 1962 travel notes (about a journey Pasolini made with Elsa
Morante and Alberto Moravia), inspired him to embark on a great journey
to the Far East (in 1998). On his return, Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha
introduced him to a new vision of the world, absorbed into nature and
silence, free of the disquiet and the ghosts of western culture, open
to an aesthetics of contemplation and the void. Luce, Eleonora, Corallo
and Turbante Arancione are the results of this ecstatic image. These
works, among others, were on display in the one-man show Teatralità e
tentazione (2002), in Monte Carlo, curated by Alain Moureau, Ministères
des Affaires Etrangères, Paris, organised by Fabrizio Di Giura,
President of Dante Alighieri, under the patronage of the Italian
Consul General, Minister Plenipotentiary Mario Piersigilli - an
exhibition which came immediately before the present exhibition at the
Galleria Agheiro in Lavagna, containing works that all belong to his
recent output. The thirteen large and medium-sized canvases mark an
evolution in Giulio Bellutti’s discourse towards an
awareness of his work on the figure as a portrait of an absent subject,
on the quality of a gaze that seeks the complicity of the spectator,
the artifice of a scene that constantly repeats the irresistible
seduction of the theatre.
*Photos by Maria Bertini