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José Pancetti

(1902 - 1958)

José Pancetti was a Brazilian artist. He was a representative of the style of Modernism. He became the author of a great number of landscapes, seascapes, and portraits. José Pancetti lived in Campinas until the age of 10, when his father moved with his wife and children to Sao Paulo. There he hoped to find better working conditions. In one year, José Pancetti and one of his sisters moved to Italy, where they lived under the care of their uncle, Casimiro, and grandparents. In Italy, he started to study at the Salesian College in Massa-Carrara. Soon, the country became involved in the First World War and Pancetti had to be moved to the countryside, home of his grandparents in the town of Pietrasanta. There, he learned the craft of a carpenter in a small workshop. Initially, Pancetti worked as a carpenter in a small workshop, however, he didn't like the routine of the job. Thus, Pancetti changed several factories until the conflict ended. His uncle helped him become a sailor in the Italian merchant navy, where he learned the seafaring profession. He spent some time on the "Maria Rosa" sailboat, which ran trips throughout the Mediterranean, visiting mainly the ports of Genoa and Alexandria. In a short period of time, he left the ship and went wandering the streets of Genoa. José Pancetti decided to return to Brazil. On February 12, 1920, he settled in Santos. To make ends meet, he worked in different places and different crafts until 1921. It was the time he moved to São Paulo, where an Italian businessman suggested him a job as a painter of walls and posters. That same year, the painter Adolfo Fonzari offered to Pancetti to become his assistant to decorate the house of another Italian in the coast of Guarujá. In 1922 Pancetti joined the Brazilian Navy, where he remained until 1946. Pancetti had the task to paint hulls, walls, etc. He did this with such an eagerness that his fame spread throughout the Navy. But being a wall painter became boring and Pancetti began to draw and to paint postcards with seascapes, landscapes, and romantic sceneries, which he saw. During the São Paulo Constitutional Revolution of 1932, Pancetti watched and painted war scenes. His paintings were acquired and published by the weekly "Noite Ilustrada", and that how he was professionally started to paint. Around 1933, he met Giuseppe Gargaglione and Bruno Lechowski. He received recognition as a painter during this period of time, with his participation at the Salão Nacional de Belas Artes (National Fine Arts Exhibition). He also presented his artworks there in 1934, 1936, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1947 and 1948. His first one-man exhibition took place in 1945. It featured more than 70 of his artworks. His first international exhibition took place in 1950 at the Venice Biennale. The following year, he was accepted at the first International Art Biennial of Art São Paulo. He participated in the third biennial (1955). Because of some problems with health, José Pancetti spent the last years of his life in the spa cities of Campos do Jordão and São João del Rei.

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