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Arnaldo Tamburini


Tamburini was born in Florence, Italy in 1885 of noble birth.

At age 15 Tamburini won a national art contest. Victor Emmanuel III, King of Italy, commissioned him to do his portrait. Thus, the young artist followed in his father's footsteps as court painter to the Italian throne.

In around 1912 the talented Florentine set out for Canada to paint Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Prime Minister of Canada, and the following year he was at St Patrick's Cathedral painting the Archbishop of New York.

He continued painting some of world's most illustrious people of his time including Czar Nicholas II and his family, Queen Marie of Roumania, Will Rogers, and many others.

After his marriage in 1914 to miniature painter Dolores Dolja Dunifer, the young couple resided in New York and made many trips to Italy.

Leaving Los Angeles in 1920, he went to Havana, Cuba where he painted Enrico Caruso and in 1923 he painted Pope Pius X in the Sistine Chapel.

In 1929, returning from Australia and Hawaii, he settled in Pasadena which reminded him of his native Italy.

While passing through Chicago, Tamburini plunged to his death from a second-story balcony on Sept. 12, 1936. In a New York Times article of that date it is reported that he committed suicide after a long period of depression, he had been treated for mental illness and had been living at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles for three months prior to this.

As well as portraits, he painted allegorical compositions and landscapes.

Exh: Gump's (SF), 1900; Vose Gallery (Boston), 1926; Ebell Club (LA), 1930; Ebell Salon (LA), 1931; Desert Inn (Palm Springs), 1934; Boston State House, 1966 (retrospective). In: Uffizi Gallery (Florence).