Art: Bel Canto Painting

What Greece was to classic Rome as a fountainhead of art and craftsmanship, Italy for more than 500 years has been to Western Europe. Temporarily cut off by Mussolini's Fascist regime, Italian painters, sculptors and architects have rebounded in the postwar years to make Rome a serious rival of Paris as Europe's art capital. At year's end in Milan and Manhattan, two of Italy's leading painters showed that in painting, as in music, a bel canto lyricism is still a trademark of Italian art.

Elder of the two is Fausto Pirandello, 58, son of Italy's late, famed Dramatist Luigi (Six Characters in...

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