In 1970, artist Franz Gertsch met the 19-year-old Luciano Castelli and his circle of friends in Lucerne, and went on to chronicle their bohemian lifestyle. A charismatic performance artist and sculptor, Luciano is the central figure in this painting, wearing snakeskin boots. Details such as the butterfly and the single lighted candle in the candelabra – ingredients of traditional Vanitas paintings, and emblems of the brevity of life – add gravity and weight to this extraordinary enlargement of a moment from everyday life. At Luciano’s House featured in the 2007 Hayward Gallery exhibition The Painting of Modern Life.


  • Title: At Luciano’s House
  • Creator: Franz Gertsch
  • Date Created: 1973
  • Location Created: London, United Kingdom
  • Physical Dimensions: h243 x w355 cm
  • Medium: Acrylic on un-primed cotton

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