Maria S Veretti

Maria Stuarda Varetti

The Professoressa Stuarda Varetti has had an extraordinary life.

As an art student at Pisa University she met and fell in love with a young Somali agricultural student. They married and she returned to Somalia to live in a cottage flanked by the jungle on one side and a swift moving river on the other. This impossibly romantic setting inspired Varetti to paint not the sumptuous landscape, but imaginative work of powerful fecundity.

During her long and exciting life her work has developed in an amazing way, on her return from Somalia she produced the most exquisite landscapes; paintings of a quality to match the most accomplished of the 18th century Dutch Romantic landscape artists.

Her disciplined artistry is perfectly expressed in the designs she made for the German Porcelain Company Selthman from 1988 to 1997. Elegant and low key they have a timeless quality. The tea service in various designs was a popular collector’s item in Harrods department store.

Drawing of exceptional quality has underpinned Varetti’s work. Her exhibition in 1978 ‘Strumenti della Civilita` Contadina in Toscana’ was a remarkable homage to Tuscan farm workers. By drawing the labourers’ simple hoe or fork with the reverence of a sacred icon she elevates the simple tool into an object of desire.

Today Varetti works on her pedigree dog paintings. These are humorous and charming; she captures the personality and particular traits of the various breeds. Often the dogs are posed on unusual pieces of furniture, the compositions are curious, almost surreal, but the portraits are honest and engaging.

Maria Stuarda Varetti also works as a canine portraitist. She is happy to work from photographs of your pet, but also requires images of the dogs’ home, for example a garden with the house in the background. From these she will produce four or five small oil sketches , the client may then chose the composition they prefer.

As she says these portraits aim to catch the spirit of the dog but they are also very much her own magical interpretation.

Commissioned portraits can be ordered in various sizes and the prices vary accordingly.