The tributes are pouring in to the City of Sorrento and to the family of Domenico Fiorentino, who died on April 4th.  Numerous eulogies have also been published in local and Neapolitan newspapers, as well as appearing in online sites. The Italian, realist painter was much-loved by the citizens of Sorrento, well-known throughout Italy, and was cherished by those of us who were fortunate to have met him while visiting the City.

In the last post I mentioned our students from the Maryland Institute, College of Art, who painted with Domenico in and about Sorrento.  One of these acolytes, Drew Bacigalupa, was not a young art student, but an alum who graduated from MICA in 1952!  He participated in our program in 1992 and was certainly one of the most productive and enthusiastic group members.  Drew became fast friends with Domenico, his son Antonino, and the Fiorentino family, returning to the City to visit several times.  He was instrumental in arranging for Sorrento to become a “Sister City” with Santa Fe, NM, where Drew lives and works in his studio on Canyon Drive.  He wrote an encomium of Domenico which he sent to the Honorable Mayor of Sorrento on the day Domenico died. He said:

Honorable Mayor Cuomo,

“As a dear friend of — and actually feeling like a member of their family — the Fiorentini of Sorrento, I wish to express my deep sympathy for the passing today of your city’s great painter Domenico Fiorentino. I’ve spent many days with him in the past, sharing painting outings in the towns of Penisola Sorrento as well as sailing crafts on your blue Mediterranean Sea. I add to my own salute to Domenico that of the City of Santa Fe, for many of our citizens in Sister City exchanges have visited, enjoyed and hold fond memories of your exceptionally charming and gracious, hospitable community. Domenico’s numerous paintings of that community are beautiful tributes to the city he loved.”
Andrea Bacigalupa
The Italian Senator and long time friend of Domenico Fiorentino,  Senator, Prof. Raffaele Lauro, paid public tribute to the artist on the 5th of April:

“ Deeply saddened, I wish to express my public condolences to the friends
Rosario, Antonino and Michele for the painful death of their beloved father,
Domenico, unique figure as an artist and an authentic expression of the
spirit of Sorrento.
I cling to them and the whole family with a fraternal embrace. I have
always been a secret admirer of paintings by Domenico Fiorentino,
who could translate, on the canvas, the fascinating charm of light, colors
and even the perfumes of our land. His painting, characterized by magic
realism, is a valuable cultural heritage that deserves to be kept by public
institutions and offered to the admiration of future generations.

The Senator’s printed, complete message, in both Italian and English can be read at:

A press release was put out by the Office of the Mayor of Sorrento on the 4th. To view this message in English and in Italian see:  press_release_of_press_office_of_Sorrento_mayor_4th_aprile_2012

A message from Sumiko Osugi , First Segretary and Cultural Attache and Head of Press and Cultural Office of the Embassy of Japan in Italy, Rome:

“On this sad occasion, expressing my high appreciation for the work of the artist FIORENTINO, I offer my deepest condolences to you and all your family.
Sumiko Osugi ”

Italian :

Le invio il seguente messaggio da parte dell’Addetto Culturale e Capo Ufficio Culturale e Stampa dell’Ambasciata del Giappone, Primo Segretario Sumiko Osugi:

“In questa triste circostanza, manifestando tutto il mio apprezzamento per l’attività del Maestro Fiorentino, porgo le più sentite condoglianze a Lei e a tutta la Sua famiglia.
Sumiko Osugi”


From Prof. Erik Edvardsen, on 4th April 2012, Director, Ibsen Museum, OSLO, Norway

“What a sad message to receive. Your friendly, nice and talented father, a real gentleman and artist. I will pray for Domenico and think about him and you all, when the funeral takes place tomorrow on Thursday.

It is a great loss for us all.

Remember all the nice and  wonderfull things you that you have experienced together.
We are all happy to have met  him and known him.
Sincere  Erik Edvardsen ”