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Gualtiero Passani was born in 1926, in the Tuscan town of Carrara, where he graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts. In 1943, the 17-year-old artist was taken from his family home by a German patrol unit. In custody, he was transported to Poland, then to a labor camp in Vienna, Austria. Once liberated, at the end of World War II, Passani continued his studies at the Academy of Fine Art in Vienna, specializing in watercolors. He exhibited at modern art venues across the city before returning to Carrara, where, in 1948, at the age of 22, he established the “Sodalizio Artistico d’ Arti Figurative.” In 1950, Passani was commissioned by the Vatican to paint a series of frescoes on the life of St. Francis in the Sacristy of the Chiesa delle Grazie in Carrara. During this period, his work found favor with the President of the Italian Republic, Giovanni Gronchi, who collected his paintings and displayed them in the Presidential Palace Art Gallery. In 1954, he exhibited at the Galleria Moderna Palazzo Pitti, Florence. In 1956, Passani’s work was presented at the Venice Biennale and the Rome Quadriennale. In 1971 he was awarded the Michelangelo d’oro (gold) prize at the Ducal Palace in Massa, Italy. In 2018, Passani received the Medaglia della citta di Lucca and his works were exhibited at the halls of the Comune of Pietrasanta. In 2019, shortly before his death, the Palazzo delle Arti, Napoli (PAN) inaugurated a showroom dedicated to Passani’s art. In 2020, the Museum of the Villa Paolina Bonaparte in Viareggio honored the artist with a retrospective exhibition.  In 2022 a retrospective was held at the Complesso di San Micheletto in Lucca.