Franco Bresciani was born in Rovato (Brescia, Italy) the 19th September of 1944, where he lives and he works.

Franco Brescianini, now in his fifties, has an important career as an artist behind him already. His biography, unfortunately not up-to-date, informs us that he has won prizes in prestigious national and international competitions, indicating that he enjoys prestige and recognition on the contemporary international scene.
This is a result of his unflagging commitment to his search for an ever-new mode of expression and an evermore complex discourse: complex but at the same time having an immediate appeal to his public.The search is within his own psyche and intellect for motives of human urgency and intuitive speculation.

He says of himself briefly but clearly and expressively: "In my pictures I am not interested in reproducing what I see. I have always been creative. I am inspired by artists like Francis Bacon and Egon Schiele and I consider myself linked to the style of German expressionism even though I re-elaborate it in a personal way".

This is the beginning of a longer discourse which we shall take up. following the stages of his intense variegated career. Let us underline the fact that he has managed to sketch his own artistic portrait in this brief quotation, summing up the sources and intentions of his art.
As his first objective he has always had the research for originality, both of sign and expression. At the same time he has kept himself within the bounds of a tradition, the marks of which are modernity.

These premises cannot be eliminated from an art which is not simply intended as evasion or dream, but as life re-lived in the intimacy of the self and connected by underlying messages to the time and society of which it is a vital part. The path trodden by the artist Brescianini appears dynamic, variegated, open to all experiences (particularly that of music) which have ended up inevitably as part of his predominant pictorial propension.

Born in a village in the Brescia area, the artist grew up in a large, patriarchal family which imbued him with the cult of moral values and the virtues of the obstinate, solid country folk. Those of bygone days naturally. His father was a tailor, or rather, he ran a tailoring shop and while still a child. Franco used to dedicate his time to his irrepressible flair for drawing and aesthetic research by proposing "exclusive models" which were then made up in the workshop with success. So by his own admission Brescianini started off as a dress designer, a brief moment in his career, since, as soon as it was possible, he dedicated himself entirely to the only activity which suited him and to which he seemed pre-destined, painting. But let us listen his own extremely expressive words describing that experience: "As a boy I was a dress designer for some years. Then I abandoned this profession to dedicate my time entirely to painting. Even though I have attended some lessons I can call myself a self-taught painter. As a young man I used to draw landscapes then I dedicated myself to figurative art and especially the female image".

This is an extremely expressive synthesis of his richly multiform activity which we shall now try to trace and illustrate. So the young Brescianini began his real artistic career as a landscape painter about 30 years ago and the catalogues of views of mountain valleys, sunny spreads of fields, simple or patrician dwellings emerging from a pearl aura of grey, sometimes changing sometimes crumbling and mediated by shadows of the brush stroke: the sum of which, though glancing at the past, through the contrast of the planes, the tones, the technical means expresses itself in contemporary, avant-garde terms (Mario Pistone).

In that period (until half-way though the seventies) Brescianini was mostly occupied with the theme of Still Lifes, reaching effects of extreme vivacity and managing to avoid the reproduction of pieces usual to that genre by composing webs in which the "spectral whiteness of bones support congeries of invented objects knowingly confused yet harmonized into an involved unity of tones".
At the same time as the Still Lifes, different forms of human figures begin to make their appearance in Brescianini's paintings, peopling the abstract worlds of his polymorphous elaborations.

So we find faces with their outlines reduced to bare essentials, figures partly robotized but still not bereft of that human afflatus which will inevitably be present in all his future works because it is part of the artist's personality. However even in these first apocalyptic works full of youthful vigour and hypervitality, the graceful note of a flower or some feminine decoration" is never lacking to add a graceful touch to the desolately arid atmosphere which brings to mind, apprehensively, the shadows of a society in which moral degradation runs riot with progressive and inevitable fatality.

Inevitably the intimate indignation which is prompted by this degradation, the rancorous, desolate pessimism which he takes to himself, are destined to be alleviated only by the passage of time although they are still present, either partially concealed, or fully intuitable in his most recent works.

And his female figures, phantoms of a past that also stands for "a better time", appear as "pretexts for an artist whose appearance is introvert, but whose temperament often breaks out into an exuberance of thematic concerns, with a fine tonal consciousness and an equilibrium in his disposition of volumes inside the pictorial space, volumes which exemplify a type of maturity consonant to his enviable, still youthful age" (Mario Pistone).

The period of Brescianini's novitiate did not last long: the young artist full of talent soon found his own way and convinced others too. and here we refer to his family circle which was at the beginning, rather diffident as regards his vocation "with the look askance of those with their feet firmly on the ground" because he was convinced that that and only that, could be his way.

And little by little, without abandoning the indications given by the Old Masters whom he felt to be closest to. and having encountered affinities with German expressionism, he commenced from that style which he intended to use as counterpoint to the serene colouristic vision of the Impressionists: an art which was opposition to a bourgeois society and a dramatic expression of the subjective inner world of the artist. Above all in this sense of psychological research and intimate discovery, the progressive evolution of Brescianini's painting has evolved. Nor has he forgotten, but has continually re-proposed in re-elaborated images, the accentuated formal deformations and the chromatic contrasts of the paintings of Munch.

Perhaps, taking up an observation made by a critic who we have not been able to identify, the stylistic references present in his most recent works is of cubist-futurist matrix with an accentuated tendency to give his forms a vitality like Boccioni's. In his Personal exhibition the canvasses on show at the Galleria Cortina (Milano) give an impression of images ever in motion, moved by an internal force which tends to disarrange, but which maintains a solid figurative reference.

"The design tautens and vibrates, sometimes almost convulsively and yet it manages to retain an extremely firm potentiality, while the colours blend into liquid streaks of white which become more compact in his harmonious tonalities of ochres and greys, put into evidence by blood-red brushstrokes". These paintings whose titles include the extremely expressive "Volata" and "Tentativo di evasione" are part of a section of the exhibition titled by the artist himself as "L'ultima fetta (il potere)" wherein he appears to be inspired by the contemporary vicissitudes of political life and by technological progress.

These works of great expressive power and undeniable suggestion implicate us in the underlying discourse of social accusation and desire to evade. But next to this group of "committed" canvasses, in a different sector of the show, the theme dearest to Brescianini. the female figure, inevitably appears. It appears in a series of nudes done in a. by now. constantly adopted and very personal technique which is enhanced by a lightly veiled chromatism which allows modern figurations of the highest level to emerge.
So aesthetic value, captivating gracefulness, harmony of the lines that trace sinuous curves and hint at suffering firmly and chastely hidden behind lowered eyelids in order not to disturb the dream of mysterious and persuasive beauty, modern yet as old as art itself.

And behind the disturbing, almost mystical figures, silent vet which seem to tell mysterious stories, the landscapes are notable, always immersed in a romantically soffused atmosphere where the colour choice appears vast and extremely calibrated.

A landscape in which reality lives together with the ideal and the imagination gives support to the real, letting it be understood that to paint means to "express through colour" one's own spiritual intuitions.
It is precisely through the couple "image-colour" that Franco Brescianini reveals his attentive aesthetic research, his authentically artistic temperament, able even today to propose themes from the recent and distant past in a lyrical and "appassionata" key but with an absolutely modern tension and emotional vibration.

This derives from the fact that "the sign being born of a hackneyed module vibrates, tautens, springs and at the same time conserves its very firm potentiality while the colour plays in liquid streaks of whites, melting into subtle tonal variations".

Gian Piero Rabuffi