Home Magazine Giovanni Tommasi Ferroni: interpreting classic pictorial languages and techniques through a 21st century lens

With a classic grammar composed of myths, bestiaries, and 17th Century techniques, Giovanni Tommasi Ferroni offers an evocative visual journey while adding a scathing and characteristic irony.

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Giovanni Tommasi Ferroni was born in Rome in 1967 into a Tuscan family of artists. Since he was a child he showed a remarkable propensity for drawing, and, after the age of eleven, he began to frequent his father's studio, and, in the summer, took drawing lessons from his uncle Marcello, in the latter's sculpture studio in Pietrasanta. Immediately after classical high school, he began to paint under the guidance of his father Riccardo, while studying art history at the Faculty of Letters of the University of Rome "La Sapienza".

His first exhibition dates back to 1989, from 1996 to today he has exhibited mainly abroad, especially at the Steltman galleries in Holland and the United States. He is known to turn to specific pictorial traditions, echoing Mannerist fantasies and Baroque sumptuousness.


Figure 1. Giovanni Tommasi Ferroni, When Clorinda Took a Fine Painter, 2016. Courtesy of Morren Galleries.


Tommasi Ferroni's works are born from a patient work of listening and reflection around some of the most famous and significant poems, as well as classical myths. He offers an evocative visual journey within their complex plot, while still adding a scathing irony, where these classical inspirations become an instrument for staging grotesque parodies of contemporary civilization. His painting is classic, his technique is classic, and his subjects are classical, but rather than repeating those models, Giovanni Tommasi Ferroni manages to create suggestive alchemies with them. 

Even though the paintings are executed with a technique and a style that is reminiscent of the seventeenth century - which has made him being called a Baroque or surrealist painter - his language is not anachronistic. His painting is ‘textbook’ contemporary, following a classical grammar of course, but through the 21st century spirit. He paints in this way to indulge his instinct which leads him to have fun through the virtuosity of his technique. 


Figure 2. Giovanni Tommasi Ferroni, Nettuno Ovvero Neptune, 1995. Courtesy of Morren Galleries.


Morren Galleries was founded in 1993 by Eric Morren. The gallery is based in the Netherlands and since its founding represents established and upcoming artists from the Netherlands and the rest of the world. At Morren Galleries quality and authenticity are considered of essential importance. With that motto in mind they select the artists and have established fruitful and long-term relationships. Eric & Séverine Morren’s mission is to promote living artists, connecting them with collectors, presenting them to a large and wide audience and above all to provide them a stable and strong platform. Morren Galleries is known for its welcoming and relaxed character. The gallery is an inspiring place where one can not only enjoy or buy art, but also have wonderful encounters with artists, art lovers and collectors. In addition to the 6 to 8 exhibitions per year, Morren Galleries regularly organizes lectures, dinners, Meet & Greet the Artist moments, auctions and other events.


Cover image: Giovanni Tommasi Ferroni, Atteone Acteon, 1995. Courtesy of Morren Galleries

Written by: Zara Colombo

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