Walther Jervolino

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Walter Jervolino
Walther Jervolino with one of his masterpieces, "The Babel Tower".jpg
Walter Jervolino with one of his works, "The Babel Tower"
Born (1944-03-01)1 March 1944
Bondeno, Italy
Died 12 July 2012(2012-07-12) (aged 68)
San Mauro Torinese, Italy
Nationality Italian
Education Giacomo Soffiantino,
Mario Calandri
Known for Painting, Drawing, Printmaking
Notable work "Der kramps auf der brÜcke"(1977),"The Babel tower" (1995)
Movement Surrealism, Hyper-realism
Spouse(s) Alessandra Maria Filipello (1950)

Walther Jervolino (1 March 1944 – 12 July 2012) was an Italian painter and artist,[1] mainly known for his Surrealist works.

Early life and education[edit]

Walther Jervolino was born in 1944 in Bondeno, Italy, a small village near Ferrara. His name was an hommage to the German doctor that saved his mother's life during the birth. He studied art under Italian realist painters Mario Calandri and Giacomo Soffiantino,[2] favoring oil painting as well as the engraving techniques.


He began his professional career in the late 1960s in Paris, London and in Milan, where he lived for several years. He later perfected his technique in the Roman studio of Riccardo Tommasi Ferroni, one of the major Italian artists. Jervolino subsequently increased his connections with countries throughout Europe, and also lived for long periods in the United States, where he exhibited his works at the Art Expo in New York City, Miami and Los Angeles.


"Gianduja e Giandujotto", Walther Jervolino, oil on canvas, 60x65 cm

Walther Jervolino's early works were deeply influenced by the visual style of Giorgio de Chirico, Salvador Dalì and Max Ernst which he later combined with that of several Medieval and Renaissance Painters, such as Hieronymous Bosch and Caravaggio. His technique, derived from years of personal study of Renaissance materials, colours and chemistry together with Postmodern art, produced in the 1980s works such as "Gianduja and Giandujotto", "The death of Pinocchio", "The Collector" and "The Babel Tower".

His works started to be to appreciated outside Europe. Fluent in English, Jervolino lived both in Italy, where his family lived, and the United States, where many of his paintings were exhibited, receiving several positive reviews in magazines.

In his later period, becoming even more accurate and perfectionist, Walther Jervolino enhanced his engraving techniques and started experimenting with a singular technique where figures or characters come out from the painting during a sort of art performance.

His last works, such as "The invisible cities", present a return to the myth and to his first surrealistic oils on canvas.

Most of his works are exhibited at galleries in Europe[3] and the United States.

"Pinocchio's death"[edit]

"A probable death of Pinocchio", Walther Jervolino, oil on canvas

His major work remains "A probable death of Pinocchio", a project he had been drawing out throughout his life. Deeply influenced by the main protagonist of the 1883 children's novel The Adventures of Pinocchio, by Carlo Collodi, an Italian writer, he tried to conceive an alternative destiny for Pinocchio, which was guilty, according to Jervolino, of being a traitor towards his father, Geppetto. Therefore he presented several oil on canvas and engravings figuring Pinocchio being decapitated or murdered with arrows. The hangman who always executes Pinocchio is similar to Jervolino's features, thus depicting a personal revenge of the painter against the "devil" Pinocchio.


  1. ^ Zuliani Stefania, Figure dell'arte 1950-2000, ISBN 9788874190157
  2. ^ http://www.ombrifinearts.com/Jervolino/Walther_Jervolino_Biography/walther_jervolino_biography.htm
  3. ^ La Stampa, 02/05/2003