Burano (?), Rico Tomaso, Mid-Century, DAC Collection



This is another painting with many more to come by Rico Tomaso. It shows the diversity of his work. Almost hidden on verso is written 30″ x 40″ Tomaso.

Rico Tomaso (1898 in Chicago, Illinois – 1985 in New York, New York) was an illustrator and painter. His works were featured in magazines, novels, and sold as paintings and lithograph prints.

In his youth, Tomaso played the piano for a dance orchestra in which he met drummer Dean Cornwell, who also became a famous illustrator and an influence on Tomaso’s own style. Illustration historian Walt Reed wrote that Tomaso’s “work mostly resembled Cornwell’s in concept and broad brush style.”[1]

John T. McCutcheon, a family friend and cartoonist for the Chicago Tribune, encouraged Tomaso’s artistic talent. Tomaso studied at the Art Institute of Chicago with J. Wellington Reynolds. He also studied at the Art Students League of New York with teachers including Dean Cornwell, Robert Henri and Harvey Dunn.

This is a terrific painting, could be Italy, perhaps an island near Venice like Burano? Just a guess. It should be understood that while he painted for Donald Art Company, he didn’t expect that his originals would be on the market, only his reproductions, thus signing his work wasn’t necessarily important to him. Often just an RT was added for identification purposes.