Luchino Visconti, the great theatre designer and film director, father of Neorealism and one of the most outstanding cultural figures of the 20th century, was the fourth son of Duke Giuseppe Visconti di Modrone (the creator of Grazzano) and of his wife Carla Erba, owner of the largest pharmaceutical company in Italy at that time.
He was born in Milan in 1906, and already as a child was frequently at La Scala. His ancestors had been among the founders of the great theatre and he inherited from his parents a passion for music, theatre and literature.
As a young man he frequently visited Paris, where he met Kurt Weill, Jean Cocteau and Coco Chanel.
He was Jean Renoir's assistant and costume designer for the film "Une partie de campagne".
In 1939, after his mother's death, he moved to Rome, where he came into contact with the young intellectuals gravitating round the review Cinema and collaborated on various cinematic projects.
In 1943 he produced the film Ossessione, one of the first examples of Neorealism.
He played an active part in the Resistance in the Communist groups and was arrested and tortured on account of this.
After the liberation of Rome, he dedicated himself to the theatre, completely renewing the choice of repertories and the criteria of theatre production.
He died on 17 March 1976.
A curiosity: the Duke Giuseppe Visconti di Modrone portrayed Luchino, together with his six brothers and sisters, in mediaeval costume. Today the fresco is still visible under the portico of the palazzo dell’Istituzione.
La terra trema (1948)
Siamo donne (1953)
White Nights (1957)
Rocco and his Brothers (1960)
Boccaccio '70 (1962)
The Leopard (1963)
Sandra, Of These Thousand Pleasures (1965)
Le streghe (1967)
The Stranger (1967)
The Damned (1969)
Death in Venice (1971)
Conversation Piece (1974)
The Innocent (1976)