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Nicholas Petrucci

Born in Champaign, Illinois, Nicholas Petrucci was raised in a family that valued travel, experience, and the arts. His father was an Italian-American architect who worked in Africa and passed on his passion for this continent to his son; eventually Petrucci spent some time studying at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, in addition to earning his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Illinois. Petrucci’s father also instilled in him the love of the arts as he traveled with his son to see the museums and churches of Europe. Petrucci cites these journeys as the beginning of his interest in painting; the creations of the Old Masters seemed magical to him and inspired his own artistic endeavors.

Interested in studying the works of these artistic luminaries, Petrucci was disappointed to discover that his university did not offer courses on the classical skills necessary for such art. Not to be deterred, he began teaching himself the concepts of traditional painting, particularly interested in what he calls “the lost art of classical portraiture.” Petrucci is especially influenced by the portraiture of Caravaggio and Rembrandt, sixteenth- and seventeenth-century artists. He calls them “masters of light, of drama, and of emotion,” admiring not only their artistic styles, but their philosophies of integrity and authenticity.

World-renowned for his portraits, Petrucci attempts to, in the words of Oscar Wilde, “paint life’s experiences in each portrait.” He has been commissioned to create paintings of such famous and revered people as Jane Gooddall, Clyde Butcher, and the Reverend Michael Basden. Highly respected and coveted, his work has been displayed in group and solo exhibitions across the country and his commissioned paintings can be found in private, public, and corporate collections in the USA and abroad. Petrucci’s work has been feature in countless publications, including American Art Collector Magazine and Estate Lifestyles. In addition to spending a great deal of time painting, he also lectures on classical art in museums and with the cruise line Aboard the World. Petrucci is also deeply involved in a number of organizations, both artistic, such as the invitation-only International Guild of Realism, Oil Painters of America, and the American Portrait Society, and philanthropic, including the Jane Goodall Institute, the Big Cypress National Preserve, and the Central Asia Institute.

Petrucci believes “there will be a paradigm shift in these uncertain times back to the clarity of the wisdom of the Old Masters; in essence, a renaissance of simple beauty in its pure form in nature, animals and all beings.” If this is true, he is on the forefront of a powerful new movement in art.