Biblioteca Renzo Renzi
Renato Casaro, Film Painter
Illustrator of film imagery, Renato Casaro was born in Treviso in 1935. While at school, unlike his peers, he was fascinated by the magic art of the billboards displayed to get the public’s attention. Thus began his artistic journey, which began as a self-taught endeavor to reproduce works by important artists like Norman Rockwell and Angelo Cesselon.
After he completed his studies, Casaro became an apprentice lithographer at the renowned Zoppelli printing house. During this formative period he was engaged to decorate the facade of the Cinema Garibaldi, creating monumental billboards. Sent to Rome for military service, he decided that the Mecca of the European film industry was to be his city. He worked for a year as an illustrator for Studio Favalli, the biggest film ad agency in Rome, and, at the age of 21, with little money but a lot of enthusiasm, he opened his own studio, becoming one of the youngest Italian illustrators and creatives. He made two sketches for the re-release of Allan Dwan’s Sands of Iwo Jima (1949) and his first poster in 1956 for Gustav Ucicky’s Zwei blaue Augen. Casaro was immediately swept up by the wave of Italian blockbusters and Spaghetti Westerns, and at the end of the 1950s he was well-introduced and known on the scene. Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars become an international success, and Casaro’s poster with Clint Eastwood traveled around the world.
In 1965, he burst onto the international scene with his poster for The Bible, which was displayed in the large advertising space on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. That is when his more substantial work began with great directors like Claude Lelouch, Francis Ford Coppola, Bernardo Bertolucci, Francesco Rosi, Percy Adlon, Sergio Leone, Luc Besson, Franco Zeffirelli and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Since 1979, Casaro has received important recognition, including the 1988 American award for best movie poster. Currently, after a long period in Spain and Germany, he now lives and works in his hometown.
The exhibition dedicated to him features twelve original sketches and famous period posters from, respectively, Casaro’s private collection and the Maurizio Baroni Archive at the Cineteca. Evocative works of art that have captured and captivated vast public attention.