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Italo Tomassi pittore - scenografo


Italo with his staff












What cinema has meant for Italo Tomassi might be understood just looking at some numbers:


  •     In 50 years of  working activity (1935/1985) he took part in more than 350 films
  •     Hundreds of meters of painted backdrops: it’s sufficient to bear in mind that only for architect De Cuir’s 1965 film “Doctor Faustus” (Directors: F. Zeffirelli and R. Burton) he painted two colossal backdrops 80 meters long and 18 meters high each one
  •     Hundreds of shapes, painted on most different stuff, representing all kind of objects – Just two examples: the profile of the famous liner “Rex” for F. Fellini’s film “Amarcord” which dimensions were 85x20 meters. An almost life size model of the Coliseum for Fellini’s “Roma”.
  •     Hundreds of statues, stuccos, high and bas-reliefs, sculptures executed with different materials: plaster, polystyrene, cardboard, papier-mâché, wood, resin.
  •     Thousands of paint-brush worn out and being impossible to find dimensions sufficiently wide to paint backdrops of 80 meters x 20, he utilized brooms in dozens.
  •     Hectolitres of colours and solvents of all sorts and qualities…
  •     Number of special effects and tricks to come up to the director’s expectations.


  From the movie set of Federico Fellini shooting "Amarcord" (1972). A backdrop reproducing the Rex hangs at the border of Cinecittà's shooting pool. Just behind the ship model built for the shootings.  The backdrop painted by Tomssi an his crew was 85 x 20 meters.

Cinema has been all of his life! He dedicated to it all the fibres of his being, each thought, each idea and image, all of his creativity and genius, all of his art and talent.

Italo and his staff working on the set of Casanova di Fellini


He received many prizes for his work and many directors officially expressed their appreciations for the cooperation he offered.
Films such as “Cleopatra”, “Ben Hur”, “War and Peace”, not mentioning the ones of Federico Fellini, Zeffirelli and many others, have been recognised as masterpieces.
Regularly, Tomassi was present to each one of those, and contributed with his painting to their achievement.
In 1971, Danilo Donati (the famous scenographer recently awarded with the Oscar) presented him with a book. The dedication on it was “To Italo, my teacher! His pupil Danilo”
In 1980, Federico Fellini wrote this dedication on the book “Fellini’s Films”: “To Italone, gratefully, F. Fellini”.

Artwork for the movie Ginger e Fred




Many other directors and actors (Stanley Kramer, Donald Sutherland, Nino Manfredi etc.) wished to express him their gratitude for his work and collaboration.
Italo Tomassi collected all these memories and evidences, and now they compose the Italo Tomassi’s Archive representing the proof that his life has really been “a life for Cinema”!


Filmography Italo Tomassi