graphic features Giuliana with Pears 



David Flackman is an American Realist with a style akin to Spanish Realism -- which he explains is more realistic than both the Italian and Dutch schools put together.

Born in New York City, Flackman studied at the Art Student League in Manhattan. He is a graduate of Stanford University, where he majored in fine art and anthroplogy. He continued to study art in Spain for several years and after returning to New York in 1958, he met his true "maestro" - Pietro Annigoni, the renowned Italian portrait artist.

Flackman followed Annigoini to Florence, Italy, where at the age of 24 he began a 5-year apprenticeship under the master. He also studied with Nerina Simi, another leading exponent of the same school of Italian Realism. (Annigonni's background can be viewed at

In Florence, David met Giuliana, a model and inspiration for many of his early paintings. The couple married in Monaco, France, in 1966. The year the Flackmans were wed, David represented the United States in the Lleme Grand Prix D'Art Contemporain de La Principaute De Monaco. He also has had exhibitions at the Massini Gallery in Florence, the Winer Gallery, and for many years he was associated with Portraits, Inc., both in New York City.

Annigoni and Friends
David and Giuliana in Florence 1966

Flackman's 1967 portrait of Richard Nixon appeared on the cover of Time magazine. In 1969, he made 6 paintings of the Apollo 8 astronauts, Kennedy Space Center and the launching of the spacecraft. The paintings were shown at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. and have become part of its permanent collection. His work has also been shown at the Bruce Museum and the Bell Gallery, Landmark Square, Stamford, Connecticut. In the early 1980s, Flackman painted a portrait of his friend, the late Monsignor James J. McLaughlin of St. Anges Church and also a portrait of St. Anges which he donated to the church in Stamford.

Despite successes in portraiture and figurative work, Flackman feels that his still lifes are truly where he began to paint. And his still life paintings often begin with the actual cultivation of his subjects.

"I always studied to paint like the old masters," he says. And when you look at the paintings of the old masters, you wonder, or you should wonder, just exactly what are the flowers they used, what kind of fruit. Do we still grow the same types of things?"

As for gardening, he believes, it's the best thing you can do in the world. "You are out there underneath the sky and that's all you think about -- you're just with nature. It's Wordsworthian. You're also producing something. I'm making something that I'm going to use in my paintings and Giuliana is going to cook and afterwards we're going to eat it."



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