The art of Maestro ALBERTINO SPINA takes us back to a peasant Italy that, unfortunately, is disappearing.

By Daria Trifu

Contemporary Italian artist Albertino Spina was born in 1956 in Terni, Italy. The last of five children, he is preceded by Antonino, the eldest, and by Salvatora, Pietro and Giovanna.

The year before his birth, his father Angelo, who was then a worker at the Terni steel mills, suffered a serious accident that leaves him with a permanent disability. His mother, forced to follow her husband to various hospitals in the area, makes the life of the children a constant suffering. Pietro, Giovanna and Salvatora were soon sent to different colleges, while Albertino spent his childhood surrounded by sadness that resulted in many mood swings. It is this period that influences his first works, characterized by a persistent use of gray nuances.

Painting by Albertino Spina

Maestro Spina is a painter who knows how to capture images of his hometown, with historical and architectural monuments set in moments of everyday life. His painting style is figurative and, with a relief technique, he revives Italian villages as if they are part of a poetic dream.

Spina studied the technique of wood priming, and he works with mixed colors, including acrylic, oil, pastel, and watercolor. His craft takes us back to a time when painters prepared their wooden boards with plaster, fish and rabbit glues. He studied Cennino Cennini’s book on painting techniques to perfection, until he made them his own.

His figurative paintings are accurate representation of the squares and monuments of his city and of the beautiful Umbria.

I like to conclude this article with some of the words written about this important artist by Italian art critic Sonia Terzino:

“Spina, like the creative of the twentieth century, has chosen a figurative painting that enhances the beauty of a land that contains millennia of history. This is precisely the strength of his art, that of having been able to create a realistic narrative that involves a city and its people among a thousand quavers of colors wisely diluted and imprinted on the canvases.

  • In 2018 Albertino Spina is invited to do an exhibition at the Biennale Di Pescara with his works in tribute to Amadeo Modigliani. The same exhibition is shown at the Leti Sansi palace in Spoleto where he receives the ‘Modigliani Award’. 

It is a Terni, that of Spina, which lives anchored to an ancient peasant civilization, to that inseparable link with a past that the artist feels strongly alive within himself.

Like an ancient storyteller, he creates his stories on the canvases and they are the ones that once animated the evenings of peasant families who gathered around large fireplaces, where the family was the fulcrum, the backbone of affections and ancient values.

It is a journey through history that the artist invites us to take, a path that crosses millennia of ancient traditions which, as long as there are poets, painters, writers who talk about it, will remain moments stolen from the passage of time and forever frozen in memory.” D!