Albert Chiarandini (September 30, 1915 - December 18, 2007)

Albert Chiarandini was born in the city of Udine, in northern  Italy (Friuli-Venezia, Giulia). As a boy, he passionately loved to  scribble, draw and dedicate his time copying religious subjects. Having  never been taught anatomy, the religious figures he drew and painted as a  child, had a strange hunchbacked look. These poor holy figures were  rendered with his father’s old shaving brush and powdered colours mixed  with water, then applied to the plaster walls of the woodshed out back  where his father allowed him to paint. Obviously not an easy start for  this determined and dedicated little artist.
Umberto (Albert) taught himself well, for at the age of  fifteen he was accepted to apprentice at the workshop of the well known  sculptor, Luigi Moro of Udine.
He arrived in Canada in 1932 at the age of 17. Determined to  continue with his studies, he applied and was accepted to the Ontario  College of Art. There he studied under the guidance of Franklin  Carmichael, Frederick Challener, John William Beatty and John Alfsen.
In 1938, his first portrait was accepted into the Ontario  Society of Artists Annual Show. Always having the desire to portray  people in their environment, observing their instincts, mannerisms and  lifestyles, he painted several large series of portraits depicting the  diversity of the human condition. Albert would search and recruit models  from Allan Gardens in Toronto, and from the streets surrounding the  Salvation Army. Here he discovered derelicts from many backgrounds,  odours and varied mental states.
In 1967, he began painting in the region of Yorkville Avenue,  Toronto. With paint and canvas, Albert proceeded to capture in  portraits, the faces of political turmoil and the dynamic change in  Yorkville. Here, for him, was a different attitude to record and  portray. A new idiom was here to be captured. This driven younger  generation full of idealism, equality and peace. These portraits of  young hippies, transient and searching, are truly beautiful. Through his  work Chiarandini succeeds in his mission to capture the diversity and  integrity of the human spirit.
These paintings immediately gained Chiarandini recognition as  a serious, professional and extremely gifted portrait painter. Soon  would follow a string of portrait commissions, including many of the  faces still famous today in the history and cultural fabric of Toronto  and Ontario.
Between portrait sessions, Albert kept painting, diversifying  his talent and applying it to the realm of the landscape, painting  scenes of rural life. Sharing in this pursuit of landscapes he had some  truly gifted company. He was friends with Donald Fraser, has shared  exhibition space with Franklin Carmichael, A.J. Casson, Arthur Lismer,  Fred Varley, Lawren Harris Jr., Joachim Gauthier, A.Y. Jackson, among  others in annual exhibitions of the Ontario Society of Artists, the  Royal Canadian Academy and at the Gallery of Hamilton.
Albert said that "landscapes allowed him to explore the  profound beauty of nature, echoes of light and the smell of the  countryside". Little could he have foreseen a future side effect of his  work. From our perspective today, Chiarandini has created a unique and  powerful gift of historical documentation and beauty.
Chiarandini's paintings of fields  now hold subdivisions in  their soil, vistas with immense skies flowing freely that today  have  been filled with high-rises and industrial developments. This is a  recorded history we should appreciate, of what Richmond Hill, Aurora,  Newmarket, and other well known and once rural neighborhoods were. As  well as a collection of beautiful and powerful paintings.
In 2004, a donation of 159 of Albert’s paintings was made to  the Georgina Arts Centre and Gallery in Sutton West, by the late Mr.  Bruce Smith. This major collection is on permanent display, and has been  included in "The Group of Seven Project", citing Albert as "The Unknown  Group of Seven Member". The event has garnered him much attention and  provides public viewing of this exceptional collection of his  landscapes, portraits and still life. Few artists, particularly  Canadian, have been honoured with this level of public exposure and  support from a public gallery.
Albert Chiarandini passed away on December 18, 2007, in his  93rd year. He was passionate about the power of art and the beauty of  our Canadian landscapes. Albert was truly a reminder of a revolutionary  era in Canadian painting, and an established voice in his own right, for  Canadian art.  
Please view these short video clips on YouTube about Chiarandini Hippie portraits and his Canadian landscapes.
* Ontario Society of Artists  * Fellow of the International Institute of Arts and Letters  * Staff member of the Ontario College of Art  * Listed in Who's Who of American art  * Membership in the International Platform Association
Professional Commissions
* Dr. M.K. Bochner, Scarborough General Hospital  * Mrs. Ed Mirvish  * Mrs. Ann Dejourno  * Dean Matheson, Emmanuel College, University of Toronto  * Dean of Botany Department, University of Toronto  * Mrs. Leon (Leon's Furniture)  * Plus many others
Professional Positions
* Ontario College of Art  * Northern Secondary School  * Willowdale Group of Artists  * Holy Blossom Temple  * Private Classes  * Humber Valley Art Group  * The Guild of Portrait Painters 1970 - 2004  * Toronto School of Art