One of the (rare) perks of being a journalist is being able to share some stories that are so cool, you’re walking on Cloud 9 when you leave the assignment.
One of my newsroom colleagues heard about a retired Italian engineer, who also ran a Ferrari and Lambourghini car dealership for several years, with a passion for painting reproductions of masterworks by the likes of Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Gaugin, Renoir. We made arrangements to meet, but nothing could prepare us for the splendour in Cosimo Gericatano’s house.
Every wall, and even some of the ceilings, were hung with precise duplications of renowned paintings that adorn the best museums in the world. Mona Lisa, The Girl with the Pearl Earring, The Creation of Adam, Allegory of the Planets and Continents were all there, every brushstroke and subtle hue recreated over hundreds of hours of exacting work.
Hanging with Cosimo was like spending a couple of hours with the Italian gentleman we all aspire to be, from his crisp cotton shirt and pressed trousers, as well as his trimmed grey hair to his encyclopedic knowledge of the paintings and artists he’s reproduced, gleaned from hours of research on the internet and visits to the museums where the originals are displayed. Not to mention the red Testarossa parked in his pristine garage.
Here’s the link to our story. And here’s the photos I shot.
MARIO BARTEL/THE TRI-CITY NEWS Gericatano spends hundreds of hours recreating master paintings from high-res images he finds on the internet and high quality posters he keeps filed in a storage room in the basement of his Coquitlam home.
MARIO BARTEL/THE TRI-CITY NEWS A detail of Allegory of the Planets and Continents that was painted by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo in 1752 and is being meticulously reproduced by retired Coquitlam engineer Cosimo Geracitano so he can hang it on the ceiling of his dining room. He says it will be his last painting as he’s run out of room in his house.
MARIO BARTEL/THE TRI-CITY NEWS The living room of Cosimo Geracitano’s Coquitlam home is decorated with paintings by some of the world’s greatest masters. But they’re all reproductions the retired engineer painted himself.
MARIO BARTEL/THE TRI-CITY NEWS Paul Vermeer’s The Milkmaid, as painted by Coquitlam artist Cosimo Geracitano.
MARIO BARTEL/THE TRI-CITY NEWS Cosimo Geracitano uses posters or high resolution images as his guide to recreating paintings by the master.
MARIO BARTEL/THE TRI-CITY NEWS When Cosimo Geracitano wakes up every mornng in his Coquitlam home, the first thing he sees is his reproduction of Auguste Renoir’s The Large Bathers.
MARIO BARTEL/THE TRI-CITY NEWS Cosimo Geracitano paints the name of each master painter he’s recreated on the leaves of an artificial tree in the basement of his Coquitlam home.
MARIO BARTEL/THE TRI-CITY NEWS Gericatano is in the final stages of completing his last painting, a fresco he will hand on the ceiling in the dining room of his Coquitlam home. He says he’s run out of space for new works.
MARIO BARTEL/THE TRI-CITY NEWS Retired engineer Cosimo Geracitano has surrounded himself with paintings in his Coquitlam home by some of the world’s great masters, including Da Vinci, Renoir, Van Gogh and John Constable. But he’s not fabulously wealthy. He’s meticulously painted the reproductions himself.
MARIO BARTEL/THE TRI-CITY NEWS A detail from Cosimo Geracitano’s reproduction of The Gotthard Post, by Rudolf Koller.
MARIO BARTEL/THE TRI-CITY NEWS A detail from Seaport with the Embarkation of Saint Ursula, painted in 1641 by Glaude Gallée and reproduced by retired engineer Cosimo Geracitano in his Coquitlam home.
MARIO BARTEL/THE TRI-CITY NEWS Geracitano paints the name of all the master painters whose works he’s reproduced on the leaves of an artificial tree in his Coquitlam home. He still has a lot of leaves to fill.
MARIO BARTEL/THE TRI-CITY NEWS Geracitano not only paints reproductions of master works on canvas, he also sculpts in marble and jade in a converted garage in his Coquitlam home.