Alberto Morrocco

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Alberto Morrocco OBE FRSA FRSE RSW RP RGI LLD (14 December 1917 - 10 March 1998) was a Scottish artist and teacher. He is famous for his landscapes in Scotland and abroad, still-life, figure painting and interiors, but perhaps his best known works are his beach scenes and views of Venice.

Life and work[edit]

Morrocco was born in Aberdeen in 1917, the son of immigrant Italians. He studied at Gray's School of Art 1932-38, and in France, Italy and Switzerland. He is famous for his landscapes in Scotland and abroad, still life, figure painting and interiors, but perhaps his best known works are his beach scenes and views of Venice.

The avant-garde of the twenties and thirties, in particular Braque and Picasso, had an immense influence on him for the rest of his life. The outbreak of the Second World War saw him detained in Edinburgh Castle, as an enemy alien, but he was released and allowed to serve as a conscientious objector in the Royal Army Medical Corps. After the war Morrocco had a brief spell teaching evening classes, and then spent the rest of his professional life in Dundee, as Head of the School of Painting at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art (now part of the University of Dundee) from 1950.

Morrocco was a prolific painter. He had a spectacular retirement, producing some of his most vigorous work in the period from 1982 to his death. Even late in his life and seriously ill, he would commit himself to exhibitions of thirty or forty new works in a year.

Morrocco married wife Vera and had three children Leon, Laurie and Annalisa. Leon followed in his fathers footsteps and is an established artist in his own right Laurie is a conservator of early panel paintings and Annalisa a designer and illustrator. Alberto died in Dundee in 1998.

Awards[edit]

The University of Dundee awarded Morrocco an honorary doctorate in 1980. He painted all its Principals and, in 1977, the Queen Mother as Chancellor. He was awarded the San Vita Romano Prize and both the Guthrie and Carnegie Award of the Royal Scottish Academy, where he was elected Fellow in 1962. In addition to the degree from Dundee University, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Stirling University in 1987. He served on the Scottish Arts Council and the Royal Fine Art Commission for Scotland and was appointed OBE in 1993.

Morrocco was a member of the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts (RGI) and the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour (RSW).

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