Renaissance Man


Carlo Amadori. He's a father, husband, professional and owner of Appaloosa horses. He's also an accomplished artist, the man behind the striking Appaloosa image featured on this month's cover.
Carlo, from Bologna, Italy, is the consummate Renaissance man. At the office, he's the director and organizer of a large trade show featuring furnishings and interior design. In his private life, besides painting, he sculpts in marble and designs furniture. He also breeds and rides Appaloosa horses, a passion he shares with his wife and two daughters.

The Artist

It comes as no surprise that one of Carlo's greatest influences in his art is the concept of time, particularly the past. «It's from the Renaissance that I feel my interest for horses,» he says. This is evident, looking at his sketches - one depicting powerful Baroquestyle horses and riders in the throes of battle. The image, he says, is a rein-terpretation of «La Battaglia di Anghiari,» a famous work by the Renaissance master Leonardo Da Vinci. Da Leonardo is in fact a great inspiration to Carlo, as are historical events involving the great civilizations of the past. Even the creative technique Carlo uses heralds back to the Italian Renaissance. «I work mostly in oil painting on canvas,» he says. «However, before starting any painting, I carry out a series of preparatory studies, starting small and eventually evolving to become the final version on canvas.» This technique allows him to develop the full detail and clarity of the subject, a hallmark of his work. Carlo has painted since the 1960s. His interest in art was honed during his studies at the Academy in Ravenna in Italy. Early in his career, his choice of subjects was quite different than it is today.
«In the beginning, I used themes linked to everyday life,» he explains. An anthology of his work, a series of paintings done in the 1960s, depicts realistic and often stark images of cars, planes, airports and modern street scenes. «A theme I used during this time was the deep uneasiness of life faced in the big contemporary metropolis,» he says.

Imagery in transition
By the 1980s his interest began to shift, focusing instead on images and scenes linked to previous eras. Landscapes, architecture, family and horses became his favored subjects. Images are often shown in classical settings, but rendered with a fresh and contemporary eye. «In this phase, figures taken from the past disappear, leaving self-portraits in costume or portraits of my family, surrounded by reminders of the past.» This linking of the past to the present is vital in his work. «I feel that the spectrum of time is more important than just looking at the present or future.» Carlo's fascination with the past is partly inspired by his interest in archeology. He's traveled around the world to visit the ruins of former civilizations, including the Greeks, Romans and Etruscans. «Any ruins fragment, even the smallest one worked out by man, has for me a special meaning since it puts you in a direct connection with the site you're visiting,» Carlo says. The American West is a more recent theme that's intrigued Carlo. «The West has always fascinated me, in particular that world from the Indian point of view,» he says. «I'm especially interested in the epic of the Nez Perce Indians, of Chief Joseph and consequently, the Appaloosa.» His interest is fueled by annual treks to the southwestern United States, visiting famous sites including the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and The Arches.
«Certainly, I've drawn inspiration from landscapes of such magnificence,» Carlo says. This magnificence is beautifully illustrated in some of Carlo's western paintings. In a series he calls «Cavalli,» images of man and horse are silhouetted against a variety of vast landscapes. The contrast of man and horse alone in nature is throught provoking.
«Nature inspires my feeling,», Carlo adds. «In particular, it's important in our relationship with horses to feel this sensation of spiritual isolations.

The horseman
Carlo and his family love animals of all kinds, especially horses. He joined the Appaloosa Horse Club two years ago and is the proud owner of Appaloosa stallion Revson's Poppy, a broodmare and three young horses. The stallion, a blanketed bay, is featured in many of this paintings.
«Personally, I can understand how artists are fond of these horses, for there is such a range of extraordinary colors,» he says. For the last 10 years, he's ridden as much as his busy schedule will allow. It's a relaxing outlet for a man with so much on his plate. However, Carlo doesn't seem daunted by his range of interests. Rather, he seems to embrace the fullness of a life filled with a sense of connection. «I feel that a 360-degree observation of life is much more interesting and complete,» Carlo muses. Insight from a Renaissance man living in a modern age.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Kellie Tonnes



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