John (Giovanni) Eugene Califano is considered a genre, figure and landscape painter from both the American and Italian school. He was born December 5, 1864 in Rome, Italy and died June 15, 1946 in Van Nuys, California. In 1878, Califano would begin his formal studies in Naples at the Istituto di Belle Arti under one of Italy's major Neapolitan ottocento artists, Domenico Morelli (1826-1901). It was here that Califano developed a style of figure painting rarely in such a young artist, which critics easily compared to the Italian master Giovanni Boldini (1942-1931).
Califano would debuted in the 1880 Salon exhibition in Naples, where was awarded the gold medal. In 1881, he immigrated to the United States and lived briefly in both New York City and Chicago. According to the exhibition records of National Academy of Design, Califano exhibited "After the Storm" and"Good Friends"1897, and "Return Home"in 1899. He listed his New York address as 468 Central Park, West in 1897 and 75 West 55th Street in 1899. In 1897, he exhibited "The Storm, #35"and "Violet Beauty, #56"(pastel) at the Chicago Art Institute listing his address as 3722 Forest Avenue, Chicago.
By 1915, John Califano had moved to San Francisco. Early in his career, he was primarily considered a figure and landscape painter. Toward the end of his very successful career, he began to focus his energy toward painting landscapes using California's Sierra Nevada as a back drop.
E. Benezit, Grund Vol. II, pg.459
Artists in California, 1786-1840, Edan Milton Hughes, pg.88
Who was Who in American Art, Falk.
The National Academy Design Exhibition Record, 1861-1900
Annual Exhibition Records of the Art Institute of Chicago, 1888-1950
Biography courtesy of Roughton Galleries, www.antiquesandfineart.com/roughton