Carlo Vitale was born in Milan in 1902. In 1920 he entered the Academy of Fine Arts in Milan, which he completed two years later. In 1924, he took part in his first Venice Biennale with Winter Sun, which immediately made him known to the critics.
He completed his training between Rome and Florence, entering the climate of the return to order through a soft and delicate chromatism accompanied by a firm formalism and at the same time made up of tonal and drawing softnesses that made him a reflective and lyrical painter.
A graceful Novecentismo
In his Milan studio, throughout the 1920s and 1930s, he produced the works that brought him success in Italian and foreign exhibitions. At the 1930 Venice Biennale he presented Woman arranging flowers, while at the 1935 Rome Quadrennial he also showed his work as an engraver with four etchings of linear design and impeccable technical and drawing skill. In 1933, he exhibited several works at the Bottega d’Arte in Leghorn, including Cocottine at the coffee shop, a painting from 1930. The clear, full-bodied brushstrokes and the soft tones succeed in expressing the vitality of a café teeming with people and voices that seem to emerge from the Impressionist painting.
Carlo Vitale’s painting, meditative and sincere, stems from the story of a gentle everyday life, at times silent, at times enigmatic, which often seems to come close to the derivations of magical realism, as can be seen in some of his paintings, including his Rest in the Study presented in Milan in 1930.
During the decades between the wars, the painter frequently stayed in Paris, where he decided to move in 1936. He exhibited at the Salon and participated in Parisian cultural life at least until the outbreak of the Second World War.
In 1940, he moved to Berne for a short period and then returned to Italy. After the war he reopened his Milan studio and took part in numerous group and solo exhibitions, not only in Italy but also abroad. His favourite subjects were above all inspired by Parisian life, of which he described with lively tones the life in the streets and in the characteristic cafés.
Busy with various exhibitions and teaching at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts during the 1960s and 1970s, he nevertheless spent long periods in Camogli, which became the refuge of his maturity. He created many works inspired by the places of Liguria, which can be found above all in the landscapes of his last years. He died in Camogli in 1996, at the age of 94.