Italian painter mounts works with Manila’s Benedictine brothers

‘Benedictine Story in the Philippine Islands’ by Francesco Giannini

‘Benedictine Story in the Philippine Islands’ by Francesco Giannini

Highly acclaimed Italian painter Francesco Gianini returned to the Philippines to celebrate the opening of his weeklong art exhibit titled, Color. Culture and Faith. The exhibit ran from January 13 to 19 at the 2nd floor Showcase Area of SM Megamall’s Building A in Ortigas, Pasig City.

The artist’s vibrant and explosive style makes use of various shades of orange and deep indigo, which reates an impression of mysterious tradition. A learned artist who lives in Verona, Italy, Gianini is known to practice patience with his works, which take him weeks, months, or even years to completing.

Just like his recent mural artwork at the church of San Beda College in Mendiola, Manila, titled, “Benedictine Story in the Philippine Islands,” he completed the seven panels of jute canvas measuring 126 square meters from 2009 to 2012. The massive piece displays a fusion of spirituality, artistry and history wherein Giannini’s trademark style of earthy oranges, celestial blues and neo-Impressionist touches are evident.

“To achieve the color that I want for each artwork, I paint it over and over, having to wait for a few days for one layer to dry up before I can start another layer—and this is why it takes a long time to finish my artworks. I don’t rush,” said the Italian artist.

It was when Gianini was working on restoring murals in the monastery of the Benedictine nuns of San Guisseppe, Assisi that the he met Fr. Aelred Nilo, who was then serving as chaplain during his break from Monastic Studies at the Ateneo Sant’Anselmo in Rome.

When Francesco came to Manila in 2009, Nilo persuaded the artist to work on a project at the San Beda Church. Gianini humbly accepted the request without any compensation.

“When Gianini finished the murals after three years, we wanted to give something in return, which is why we invited him and have him showcase his talent in an exhibit for the Filipino audience,” Nilo said.

For more information about Francesco Giannini, visit


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