ROMOLO ROBERTI was born in Montelanico, Province of Roma, Italy, on October 18, 1896, and studied at Cornell University and the Art Institute of Chicago. His outstanding teachers were Cristian M. S. Midjo and Albert Krehbiel. He has painted in New York, Tennessee, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Ohio and Indiana. He is a member of the Illinois Academy of Fine Arts and the All-Illinois Society of Artists, and has exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, Increase Robinson's Studio Gallery and the Academy of Our Lady, in Chicago, and in Ithaca, New York, the Illinois Academy of Fine Arts and the Springfield, Illinois, Museum. A one-man show of his work has been held at the Allerton Gallery in Chicago. His paintings have been written about in various English and Italian newspapers and in the Art Digest, by C. J. Bulliet, Eleanor Jewett, Ernest Eakham, Sterling North, Oscar Durante and Agostino de Biasi.
I am at a loss to make a statement on art of today. It is a delicate matter for an artist to reveal his life, his thought, and his mode of intellectual existence. Perhaps it would arouse resentment on the part of society if I would make a frank statement, but, referring to the question concerning art as an expression of the age, I would reply in the affirmative. My work is done under hardship and humiliation. But many people in Chicago have inspired me to make my new series of paintings depicting Dante's "Inferno." If anyone will take the trouble to study them carefully, he will find, not what Dante wrote, but the spirit of the present age. Now as to the questions about abstract art, I would say I do not use the purely abstract in any elements that come direct from life, but I do use the purely abstract when my conception consists of a combination of something remembered and something imagined. I have no connection with any gallery, nor do I do any work for any commercial purpose. In fact, many galleries have refused my work based on Dante's masterpieces because it is not salable. Adverse publicity and criticism have no effect on my work. My duty is to paint and to continue to express whatever I find to be of profound interest in life. Romolo Roberti.