January 8th, 1927

One of the few surviving photographs of American artist Giovanni DeGrasslo (1887--1939)

On this day in art history, the American painter Giovanni DeGrasslo first unveiled what contemporary art critics considered to be his greatest work — Al Capone As I Knew Him.  At the time, many observers noted that the painting appeared to be almost as much a self-portrait of DeGrasslo as much as being a portrait of notorious gangster Al Capone.  Ten minutes after revealing the painting, DeGrasslo took it out to the alley behind his studio and set it on fire.  DeGrasslo habits of destroying his paintings shortly after completing them is speculated to be the reason why he remains largely an unknown artist.



Filed under painters, painting

2 responses to “January 8th, 1927

  1. Thank you for posting this — De Grasslo is a personal favorite of mine! It’s a shame that we’ll never get to see anything he actually painted. 😦

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