Renato Guttuso was born on December 26, 1911, in Bagheria, Palermo. He attended the classical Gymnasium in his hometown and also began studying law, though he cut short his studies in 1931 to go to Rome. In Milan, where he lived from 1935 until 1937, Guttuso came into contact with the experimental movements of noteworthy artists such as Renato Birolli and Giacomo Manz¨. Influenced by artistic features which tended to Realism and by the strongly anti-fascist political views of those artists, Guttuso developed his own style which was silhouetted against the Socialist Realism of a Russian stamp. In 1938, Guttuso had his first solo exhibition in Rome. As a member of the Communist Party as of 1940, he saw himself as a political artist. Guttuso was therefore active in the anti-fascist resistance in Italy from 1943 to 1945 and co-founded the artistic movement "Fronte nuevo delle Arti" in 1947. After the war, he continued to paint in his realistic style, referring to current political themes. Beginning in 1950, Guttuso took part in the Biennale in Venice many times. Surreal elements began to creep into Guttuso's paintings in the 1960's. The Italian painter was honored by numerous solo exhibitions in museums and galleries in Europe and America. Renato Guttuso died in Rome in 1987.