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Joseph Amarotico

(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / 1931 - 1985)

Born in New York City in 1931, Joseph Amarotico painted in oil and acrylic on canvas, and gouache on paper, using a surrealistic style to build architectural fantasies and "dream castles" from basic everyday shapes. The overall effect he achieved is similar to the play of light and color found in stained glass windows.His work as a painter was overshadowed by his reputation as a conservator, restoring paintings for the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Specializing in 19th Century American paintings (a very different style from his own work), he refurbished paintings, found dates and names for paintings of unknown origin, and appraised paintings for their quality. In 1976, he restored two major paintings by Benjamin West, Death on a Pale Horse and Christ Rejected, both at the Academy. In 1978, he was asked to restore four historical paintings by John Trumbull in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol. He also restored paintings by Edward Hicks, Thomas Hicks, Martin J. Heade, and Charles Wilson Peale for the Bucks County Historical Society, as well as for The Academy of Natural Sciences, Pennsylvania Hospital, The Barnes Foundation, Independence National Historic Park, the Free Library of Philadelphia, and numerous others.
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