The research | Critical essay | Exhibitions, Awards, Publications

The research

Luciano Balduino was born in Rapallo (GE) in 1922, but moved to Turin when he was still very young.

He occupied himself with painting early on his life and at first made independent research, predominantly geared towards impressionism, until, to improve his technique and capacities, he frequented Pippo Bercetti’s studio, particularly aimed instead at tonal painting. He studied with Bercetti for a few years.

Subsequently, in the research of a new expressive language, he studied with the skilled expressionist painter Edgardo Corbelli. Also thanks to this experience, he acquired familiarity with different pictorial techniques, which he practised for some time.

His works of these periods, exhibited in collective and personal reviews, were much appreciated both by the public and by critics.

Nevertheless, because of his particular and not yet satisfied attraction to colour, Balduino followed his research until his encounter with W. J. Goethe’s “Theory of colours”. This opened a new world to him and, above all, it offered new winning possibilities to develop a pictorial language.

The instructions of Rudolf Steiner – well known studious and commentator of the works of Goethe – opened a wide range of possibilities for him to utilize Goethean lessons.

He worked intensely and for a long time in this direction until the early 70’s in the research of techniques and procedures to produce pictorial compositions that, realising Goethe’s indications, consented to render colour alive and palpitant.

Balduino received invaluable support in this research from Italian painter Beppe Assenza who repeatedly granted him access to his studio in Dornach, in the vicinity of Basilea. In numerous and beneficial meetings, Balduino had the opportunity to obtain useful teachings and stimulus from Assenza’s original “method of colour”, which he could appreciate and experiment with. Due to this, with a sense of real gratitude, Balduino thinks of Beppe Assenza as his teacher.

The realisation of pictorial compositions based on Goethe’s theory requires, for the delivering of his aim, long experience on the part of the painter, technical capacity and above all the refining of the sensitivity to the point of succeeding to grasp – regardless of individual emotions - the very fine, intimate palpitations and live sensations inherent in the nature of colours. The painter must learn to immerse himself so intensely in the colour in order to perceive its fluctuating and incessant activity.

For this reason, any serious research in such a direction asks for intense commitment over a long period of time.

In fact a painting, realised in accordance with the Goethean method, consists in the realisation of the pure experience of colour, developed until the formation of a completed colour composition. From this, from the gestures and forms, which in the process will become consolidated, the artist will extract the images, so giving the painting a sense, the expression of a theme or of an idea. The theme and the idea are therefore the final result of a procedure of chromatic work, not his motive. To all appearance, before at last a theme, an idea arisen from colour, a Goethean painting presents itself as an abstract work both in the chromatic composition and in the elaboration of shapes; nevertheless it is not to be considered as a derivation of real and true abstraction.

Fuller expositions of the Goethean painting, of the principles on which it is based and on the technique followed by Balduino to realise it, will be found in other sections of the site.

Balduino started to present the result of his research in the Goethean direction from the 90’s in personal exhibitions and taking part in collective ones in Italy and abroad.

His new painting received very favourable judgements from critics; he obtained awards and recognition. It particularly revived live interest from the public who were fascinated by the brightness of the colours and, above all, by the intimate and worthy sensations that these paintings gave to the soul of the observer.


Critical Essay

Luciano Balduino always talks with the colour of spiritual heat. He transforms the silence of his own conscience into a progressive evocation, which then transfigures into sweeping and harmonious brush strokes. This means that his inner soul is never disturbed, but in a state of silent ecstasy which produces a colourful magic. This poet brings images, most definitely not born from a predetermined decision but instead from unconscious gestural expressions, from the palette to the surface.[…].
Arte Moderna numero 35

Each one of his compositions is like the first day of the creation as represented in the book of Genesis. From the chaos of many colours blending together on his pallet, comes the miracle of distinguishing between being and appearing, between what is abstract and the earthly substance. It is about a painter who has a talent to express his own inspirations through graceful lines transparent like those of watercolours, which suddenly create undefined figures. These differences are what make him a painter aiming towards the high spirit.Ciò significa che il suo animo interiore non è mai turbato, ma in estasi nel proprio silenzio che produce magie cromatiche. Dalla gestualità inconscia di questo poeta della tavolozza giunge in superficie un apparire di immagini che, certamente, non nascono da una decisione preordinata. [...]

Ogni sua composizione è, per lui, il primo giorno rappresentato nel Libro della Genesi. Dal caos del magma della tavolozza giunge il miracolo della distinzione tra l'essere e l'apparire, tra l'astrazione e la sostanza terrena. Si tratta di un pittore che ha la dote di esprimere le proprie illu­minazioni tramite sprazzi figurali, improvvisi, dalla stesura garbata, trasparente come quella dell'acquerello. Sono proprio queste trasparenze che fanno di lui un pittore teso verso lo Spirito alto.

Paolo Levi
CATALOGO DELL’ARTE ODERNA No.35 (Ed. Giorgio Mondadori)

[…]In Balduino’s opinion, colour must awaken sensations in the field of art, which go beyond aesthetic beauty; this means that he doesn’t forget that a painting is also a language to communicate with others.


From this idea is born something undefined, a sort of visionary magic […], which in the thoughts of the artist interposes itself between the identity of essence and the identity of existence. Hints of virtual shapes appear as a result of this spontaneous sensation. […]At the same time the shaded and meaningful images are like sudden revelatory brainwaves, a result of sudden flashes of inspiration that speak with spiritual suggestions to our souls. In short, this is the painting of Balduino.

Franco Passoni
ARTECULTURA – Milano Marci 1996

Accompanied by the analysis of qualified art critics, the work of Luciano Balduino reveals a will to communicate, to entrust the expression of his own complex interiority and profound sense of existence to colour and to the appearance of shapes.

Arte contemporanea

From the strong energy of colour comes a way of painting made more precious by the atmospheric lights, which penetrate into the material and give it life. His pictorial pages are characterised by the solar predominance of yellow, by the vital strength of red and by hints of green. These colours suggest a large range of works, which led Franco Passoni to say, “They are shaded images…which are like revelatory brainwaves”, like signs from our time.


Angelo Mistrangelo
II (Ed. Giorgio Mondadori)

[…The “Theory of colours” by Goethe is the main contributing essay to colour to which the painter Luciano Balduino uses to inspire his own pictorial work. It in fact, proceeds from the observations that colour, with its own intrinsic vitality, is animated by peculiar tensions. From the bright nature and wide range of tones descends the deepest and most authentic mould of an image. This image as stated concisely by Balduino “… completely expresses the potential chromatic contents and is a means to talk to the essence of man.”


Carefully examining the painter’s work, you can observe, first of all, the intense transparency of light, noticeably diaphanous and dynamic in its infinite and multiple radiations and it is really these very fine interlacements of bright impulses which visibly create the represented image and give it a lyrical and strong consistency.

Shape, in Balduino’s paintings, is subjected to a deep, constant genetic evolution of light that is divided into an infinite mixture of tones, from which the physical and optical contact receives the enlivening strength of the representation.

Balduino’s expressive language is presented as quite original in his artistic proposal as well as in the cultural and psychological motivations, which represent its theoretical foundation. […] The visual and conceptualise message of Balduino’s artistic research is very personal and pervaded by peculiar motives of creative inspiration. This is expressed in his congenial articulation of “Themes of Colour” and will provoke new and more stimulating questions about the imaginative planning of this artist and his profound personality as the insightful protagonist of Art and its mystery. It is a work well worth knowing and following.

Teodosio Martucci
ARTECULTURA – Milan, January 1995

[…]The picturesque works of Luciano Balduino are bewitching as they reach towards the heart and speak the magic language of colour. They are able to awaken unique and defined sensations. […]

The chromatic forms, which emerge from his compositions, are possessors of worth and of symbols that in every moment question the sacredness of human being and existence. […].

The great aspiration of this art is high, it tends to recreate an Arcadia of the spirit and to give them life; Luciano Balduino unifies universally retained values to primitive instinctual classics and to the strength and living nature of sensations.


Anna Iozzino
“FORUM ARTIES”, Contemporary International Magazine – Modena, April 1999

Numerous critics have written about him:
Marziano Bernardi, Angelo Dragone, Anna Iozzino, Paolo Levi, Teodosio Martucci, Antonio Oberti, Franco Passoni, Ottavio Rossani, Marisa Vescovo and several others.


Exhibitions, Awards, Publications


Galleria la Conchiglia

Since 1962 he has been present in important collective exhibitions called by associations, like the “Promotrice delle belle arti” and the “ Piemonte artistico e culturale”, both from Torino, and to various initiatives organised in galleries and by local authorities.

Galleria Mercurio

Moreover, he has participated in National and international competitions.

His first personal exhibition in Torino dates back to 1967 and others followed in the same city as well as in Biella and Alessandria.

Since the 90’s he exclusively exhibited his artistic productions, orientated in a Goethean sense in personal shows in Turin, town halls of Giaveno and important collective exhibitions in Italy, particularly Milan, Rome, Florence, Spoleto festival, Vittoria (RG) Ferrara, and abroad in Jeanne de Maurienne (France), Hallstammer (Sweden), La Valletta (Malta), Innsbruck (Austria), London, Paris, Melbourne.

Galleria La Maggiolina

He was present along with his works at some important art fairs in Vicenza, Pordenone, Padova, Palermo, Bari, Milan, Florence and above all in Turin where he always set up his own stands.

Recently he was present in collective exhibitions in Lucca (Gallery “Giò Art) and in Ferrara in the Castello Estense (exhibition titled “Omaggio a Turner”) as well as by the important art fair in ReggioEmilia with the Gallery "La Telaccia"

He was awarded different prizes from associations and galleries. Among the most prestigious mentioned are a silver medal of the”Società Promottrice delle belle arti” of Turin, many national awards attributed to him by the Santhià National exhibition of contemporary painting, included amid the official manifestations of the state to which he was invited. Moreover he obtained much other recognition from galleries, art associations and local authorities.

Santhià 1997
Santhià 1998
Santhià 1999
Premio Italia Firenze 1998


His works are published and reviewed in the following art annuals and dictionaries:

- GENTE NOSTRA, contemporary artists, vol 1 – 1966, Turin
- GENTE NOSTRA /2 Region Piedmont – 1967/1968 Turin
- ANNUARIO COMED , 1995 1996 1998 Milan
- ANNUARIO DI ARTE MODERNA ITALIANA Arte contemporanea,1997 Ed. ACCA, Rome
- TOP ARTS, 1997 Ed. R. Massacesi, Osimo
- GUIDA ALL’ARTE CONTEMPORANEA, 1998, 1999 – “ Forum artis Museum”, Montese (Mo)
- ARTISTI E OOERE – Piedmonte, Valle d’Aosta, Liguria – Ed. G. Mondatori
- ARTE SACRA 2000 – Comed 1999
- CATALOGO D’ARTE MODERNA 1999 – Ed. G. Mondatori
- CATALOGO D’ARTE MODERNA 2000 – Ed. G. Mondadori
- AVANGUARDIE ARTISTICHE 2008 – Ed. Centro diffusione arte

Important essays on his artistic activity, written by well-known and important art critics, were published, with full photographic documentations, in the following art magazines:

- ARTECULTURA, April 1994, January 1995, March 1996 Milan
- QUADRI E SCULTURE, December 195, January 1996 Rome
- ARTE, March 1995 Milan
- CONTEMNPORART, January 1996
- ART LEADER No. 27, 1996, Osimo
- TALENTO July 1997, Turin
- ARTE, “ARTE IN GALLERIA”, December 1998, Milan, Ed. G: Mondadori
- AVANGUARDIE ARTISTICHE 2009 – Ed. Centro Diffusione Arte
- ARTE OGGI – Ed . Mondadori
- GRANDI MAESTRI 2009 . Ed. Centro Diffusione Arte

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