Giuseppe Boscarino was born in Mazara del Vallo in 1886. After elementary school he became an apprentice in the workshop of a local carpenter, where he began to show his artistic talents, especially in the decoration of the backs of the carts, with scenes of historical or literary subject inspired by the cycles of chivalry.
This precocious artistic vein is noticed by a local photographer who takes him under his protective wing and not only introduces him to the practice of photography, but encourages him to paint and finances his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples, where he develops a strong preference towards the genre of the portrait.
After finishing his studies in Naples, Giuseppe Boscarino perfected his skills at the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice, where he approached Ettore Tito, a fundamental figure in his artistic growth. In 1911, given his education in photography, he was called to arms and assigned by General Maurizio Mario Moris to the Photographic Section of the Special Engineers, based in Villa Mellini in Rome, precisely in the Park of Monte Mario.
The frescoes of Villa Mellini: between celebration of aeronautics and aerial views of Rome
He is recalled in this role even with the entry of Italy into the war in 1915, continuing to serve in the Villa, which becomes the place that encapsulates his artistic success. Today an astronomical observatory, the Villa was also a Military Fort and, the Casale Falconieri the seat of the military photographic laboratory where Boscarino worked.
Between 1915 and 1917, the painter was commissioned to fresco the rooms that were to house the private apartments of General Moris, founder of aeronautics and among the first experimenters of aerial photography. The frescoes painted by the painter of Mazara on the vault of the room, which today houses the Astronomical Observatory, consist of two large allegorical scenes. The first represents an agglomeration of heroic nudes who, with upward movement, hold up the flag, while in the background of the sky appear warplanes and airships. The second is dominated by an Amazon on horseback carrying aloft the torch that radiates the sky, celebrating the Company of Specialists and technical progress.
Below the vault, runs a frieze on the walls with fourteen scenes, aimed at representing the fundamental stages of aeronautics, from the first aerial photographs in the 1890s, to the airships and balloons that flew over Rome in 1909, with the first photographs of the city from above.
In particular, those of the Roman Forum stand out, also testifying to the valid application of military means to archaeological surveys and cultural heritage. During the years of execution of the frescoes, Giuseppe Boscarino did not fail to devote himself to Roman views, characterized by a diffuse luminosity and a harmonious and realistic rhythm, as demonstrated by The Falconieri farmhouse and the View of Rome from Monte Mario with Prati di Castello, an evocative aerial view of Rome from the sites of today’s Observatory and the Copernican and Astronomical Museum.