Franco Gentilini (1909-1981) was an artist, illustrator and stage designer. Today he is considered one of the greatest Italian figurative artists of the 20th century. He first exhibited his work in Venice in 1930 at the 17th Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte della Città di Venezia. In 1932, he moved to Rome where he held his first solo show at the Galleria di Roma, which led to numerous other awards during this decade. Most of his works at this time were influenced by pre-Renaissance Italian art. Later, Gentilini’s works would grow to reflect the Italian culture between World War II and the post war period while combining both painting and drawing in his works. Even though his works, for the most part, are joyful, they also depict a sickness at the devastation caused by war. From the 1950’s Gentilini’s works became more geometric. Cats were especially dear to him, and he used their inescapable symbolism to portray domesticity, femininity and eroticism. He died in 1981 after a brief illness.