Ingredients For Inspiration
Skyword, magazine, Pacific Western Airlines, 03-1986

Lorenzo Fracchetti, Recording Canada’s Last Frontier
Art Impressions, magazine, 1987

Lorenzo Fracchetti, la magia del Grande Norde
TRENTINO emigrazione, Ottobre – Dicembre 1997

Lorenzo Fracchetti, le peintre venu d’ailleurs
MAGAZIN’ART, 09-2001

Article from SKYWORD Magazine, Pacific Western Airlines

March 1986


Ingredients For Inspiration

Artist Lorenzo Fracchetti utilizes the special qualities of lighting
in the north to create magical portraits of life in this frozen frontier.
by Lynda Comerford

A dog team, sled and driver trek over the hard crusted snow of the boundless wilderness on Baffin Island in Canada’s north. The air is sharp and the horizon seems to melt into an endless sky. Care must be taken not to slip into the large cracks in the frozen ice as the travelers glide through the eerie wonder of a frozen arctic world.

The man on the back of the sled is Lorenzo Fracchetti, a 40 year old Italian born Canadian. His fascination of the Arctic and passion for painting have melded together to create magical portraits of life in the frozen wilderness of northern Canada.

“I’ve been fascinated with the Arctic since I was a child,” says Fracchetti. “There’s such a sense of adventure in this unexplored land.”

He came to Canada in 1967 and was fortunate to find a job as an illustrator with a Toronto based company that was publishing books about the Arctic. Through this job Fracchetti made his first visits to the far north. “I was even more fascinated and intrigued after I’d been there,” he says. “The majestic suns, the icebergs and the light that you don’t find any other place in the world make it such a magical land.”

Much of his time was spent traveling around Baffin Island, compiling sketches, photographs and notes of the northern scenes. “It’s an area that best represents the Arctic in general,” explains Fracchetti. “There are many other places to go, but it can be extremely costly traveling from one place to another as it’s so vast.”

Fracchetti’s favorite medium is oils, although he is very adept at charcoal and copper etchings as well. “I started out using charcoal and doing portraits, but later I started painting in oils. For the brilliancy of the fantastic landscape, there’s nothing like colour,” he explains.

Spellbound by the beauty of the north, it is exactly that quality which the artist tries to convey in his work. “So many things are really magical,” he says, “Especially the effect of light, the silence of the majestic icebergs and the contrast of colours. It’s all so different from the usual wildlife, lakes and trees that you see elsewhere.”

The north for Fracchetti is a huge space which can be difficult to portray in a painting. But it’s that huge space that also feeds his creativity. “In some way, for the artist as well as the adventurer, the north has the ingredients for inspiration,” he says.

Fracchetti’s paintings are of cold northern scenes, but through skillful use of lighting effects, he manages to instill a sense of warmth and tranquillity which defies the harsh and frigid images. “I’ve found that in any painting, the magical touch is light. Sometimes it’s very difficult to get the best effect and I have to exaggerate to give more emphasis to the kind of feeling I am trying to achieve.

“In the Arctic, light is probably the best material you can find to describe through painting the feeling of the north. With the Northern Lights, the moon, the midnight sun — there are so many different moods and effects of light and shadow.”

Fracchetti doesn’t expect to get tired of painting the north. “I’ve been doing Arctic scenes for many years and have never found anything that could make me lose interest,” he says. “There are many aspects of the north that are also a part of me — the sense of loneliness, independence and freedom that I can express in the composition of my art.”

Currently living in Toronto, Fracchetti has exhibited his work in Italy, Switzerland, United States and across Canada.

Article from ART IMPRESSIONS magazine

Winter/November 1987


Lorenzo Fracchetti,

Recording Canada’s Last Frontier

by David J. Hawke

The Canadian Arctic has been called “the last frontier of discovery” by many adventurers and conservationists. It is also first love and inspiration to a handful of hardy artists. One such person is Lorenzo Fracchetti, an artist who is concentrating his talents to capture on canvas the life and grandeur of the far north.

It’s a bit surprising to find this keen interest in one who is not a native Canadian, but rather in an enthusiastic young man from overseas. Perhaps being born near the Alps, in Italy, instilled a sense of adventure and understanding for such rugged terrain. Whatever the reason, since he arrived in Canada in 1967, Fracchetti (pronounced fra-KET-tee) has put his energy to work to give us a special view of our country’s most unique geographic area.

He had originally planned to visit for a year and then return home, but he quickly found work illustrating a book on the arctic and decided to put his roots down here. “My family was not very supportive of me making a career in the art field,” he states, “but with this assignment I could not only make a living, but also found the artistic challenges I was seeking.”

These challenges are important to him, as he tires quickly of a daily ‘straight ahead’ routine. He has attended several art academies, both in Europe and Canada, but usually for a limited time at each.

He stayed only for a year at the Academy of Fine Arts in Milan, Italy, as he became bored with the style and techniques of the teachers. Two years of Artistic Design in Switzerland were helpful in shaping his own ideas and broadening his knowledge of media techniques, but this became to general for his liking. A year at the Ontario College of Art, Toronto, in the early ’70’s gave him good training in still life and figures.

Lorenzo credits much of his training to the man who first hired him as an illustrator, publisher George Lonn. As well as assembling the book on the arctic, Lonn was also teaching with the Academy of Ontario Artists. He stressed that an artist can only be taught the basics, after that each individual must pursue and hone their own style and technique.

While Lorenzo knew the style he wanted, a big hurdle was getting the first hand experiences and proper references to his images. Travel in the arctic is not cheap, nor is it always available when you want it. A two week sojourn to Baffin Island, where he has visited three times now, costs about $5000. Hiring of sled dogs and driver is $100 per day, and a private airplane can run about $800 per hour! Fracchetti prefers the dog teams as it is a traditional mode of travel, and the dogs and equipment become perfect models.

To find his inspirations, and to expose the hundreds of photographs, which will be later used as reference, he must plan his visits to meet the demands of the season. Lorenzo prefers to travel on the ocean when it is flat and frozen, so most visits take place in early May. The ice breakup occurs in mid-June, a welcome event for the locals as the supply ship can then come into the area.

By his own admission he is not a naturalist, but rather an artist who has a strong desire to show us that “the arctic is not a frozen wasteland, that it has life and beauty like no other place I know”. A major component of the north is the Inuit, a people who Lorenzo captures in his exquisite graphite renderings. He feels that “by the use of shadows and shading the figures have much more life, they come alive more so in graphite than in colour.”

Before he commits himself to a large piece of artwork, Fracchetti will explore the subject with several sketches and a few small paintings. By gauging the reaction and interest of friends he will decide if it is worth while doing as a large piece.

He is most comfortable with the medium of oils on canvas, as “they flow well, stay fresh for long periods of time and can be glazed. I find acrylics too stiff to work with.” On average Lorenzo produces about 30 pieces a year, an amount needed to meet the increasing demand for his originals. In 1986 a travelling show of his works was displayed in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver, with all 26 paintings being sold prior to the tour’s finish.

Bruce Burchart, president of Discovery Arts, finds that there are three groups of people who purchase Lorenzo’s art — there are those who have been to the arctic and are very impressed with the way he has portrayed the lighting and moods of the north; there are those who have never been to the north but are fascinated with the mystic of the arctic, the ‘vanishing Canada’; and there are those who simply appreciate fine art, his masterful workings of colour, light and style.

Many people are drawn towards Fracchetti’s work as it is also a record of a passing era, an insight to the last of a way of life. Burchart feels that “just as Krieghoff presented us with the final years of traditional lifestyles of the Woodland Indians, so does Lorenzo with the dying ways of the old style Inuit.”

The future looks bright for this confident young artist, as major shows are being planned in United States, England and Canada. Lorenzo Fracchetti wants his works to show “the peace and serenity, the life and vibrancy of the arctic” to all those who wish to better understand Canada’s last frontier.

Article from TRENTINO emigrazione magazine

October – December 1997


Lorenzo Fracchetti,

la magia del Grande Nord

Un pittore e disegnatore trentino da Avio al Canada, per catturare
la magia dei silenzi, dei ghiacci e del maestoso sole artico

Il profondo interesse di Lorenzo Fracchetti per l’arte e la natura ha avuto inizio nella sua fanciullezza. Nato ad Avio (Trento) nel 1946, Lorenzo ha studiato all’Accademia delle Belle Arti di Milano e ha continuato gli studi di disegno artistico in Svizzera.

Nel 1967 si è trasferito in Canada e ha proseguito lo studio all’Ontario College of Art.

Dopo aver trovato lavoro come illustratore a Toronto, presso l’editore George Lonn, che stava pubblicando un libro sull’Artico canadese, Lorenzo compì il suo primo viaggio nel Grande Nord: “Quell’esperienza mi intrigò e mi affascinò. Il sole maestoso, gli iceberg e quella particolare luminosità che non si trova in nessun’altra parte del mondo, rendono quei luoghi davvero magici”.

Proprio la malia della bellezza dell’Artico è la qualità che Fracchetti cerca di riprodurre nei suoi lavori: “Tantissime cose sono davvero magiche, – dice – specialmente gli effetti di luce, il silenzio degli iceberg maestosi e il contrasto di colori.

È completamente differente dall’ambiente naturale, dai laghi e dagli alberi che si possono vedere negli altri posti”.

La tecnica preferita da Lorenzo Fracchetti è la pittura ad olio, ma è notevolmente versato anche nel carboncino, nei pastelli e nell’acquaforte.

I suoi lavori hanno per soggetto fredde scene nordiche, ma con l’abile uso degli effetti di luce riesce a infondere in esse un senso di calore e di tranquillità che tempera l’atmosfera aspra e fredda dei soggetti rappresentati.

Lorenzo non crede di poter mai stancarsi di dipingere il nord: “Ci sono molti aspetti del nord che sono anche parte di me – il senso di solitudine, di indipendenza e di libertà che posso esprimere nella mia arte. Ho dipinto scene artiche per tanti anni e non ho mai trovato nulla che mi potesse far perdere l’interesse”.

Esposizioni delle sue opere si sono tenute in Italia, Svizzera, Stati Uniti d’America e Canada. Suoi lavori sono entrati a far parte di numerose collezioni private in tutto il mondo.


Originally from Avio (TN), Lorenzo Fracchetti studied drawing and painting at the Milan Fine Art Academy. He has lived and worked in Toronto in Canada since 1967. He transmits his love of the Arctic, its immense silences and magical light through his works on canvas. Exhibitions of his work have been held in Europe and America and certain works are now features of prestigious private collections all over the world.


Aus Avio (TN) gebürtig, hat Lorenzo Fracchetti Zeichnen und Malerei on der Akademie der Schönen Künste in Mailand studiert. Seit 1967 lebt und arbeitet er in Toronto, Kanada. Seine Leidenschaft gehört der Arktis, deren unfaßbare Ruhe und deren magisches Licht er in seinen Bildern einfängt. Ausstellungen seiner Werke wurden in Europa und Amerika veranstaltet und seine Arbeiten sind Teil namhafter Privatsammlungen in allerWelt geworden.


Originaire d’Avio (TN), Lorenzo Fracchetti a étudié Ie dessin et la peinture a l’ecole des Beaux-Arts de Milan. Il vit et travaille à Toronto au Canada depuis 1967. Passionné de I’Arctique, il en transmet les silences démesurés et la lumière magique dans ses toiles. Plusieurs expositions de ses ceuvres ont été réalisées en Europe et en Amérique et ses peintures font partie de collections privées prestigieuses dans Ie monde entier.


Originario d’Avio (TN), Lorenzo Fracchetti ha estudiado dibujo y pintura en la Academia de Bellas Artes de Milán. Desde el 1967 vive y trabajo en Toronto, en Canadá. Es un apasionado del ártico, transfunde los silencios y la mágica luz en sus telas. Exposiciones de sus obras se han celebrado en Europa y en América y sus trabajos han entrado a formar parte de prestigiosas colecciones privadas en todo el mundo.


Originário de Avio (TN), Lorenzo Fracchetti estudou desenho e pintura na Academia de Belas Artes de Milão. Desde 1967 vive e trabalha em Toronto, no Canadá. Apaixonado pelo ártico, transmite os silêncios incomensuráveis e a mágica luz das suas telas. Exposições das suas obras foram realizados na Europa e nos Estados Unidos e os seus trabalhos começaram a fazer parte de prestigiosas coleções particulares no mundo inteiro.

Article from MAGAZIN’ART magazine

Fall 2001


Lorenzo Fracchetti,

le peintre venu d’ailleurs

Avio est une petite ville italienne d’environ 3 000 habitants située dans la province de Trente. Si les plus anciens y parlent encore un dialecte proche de l’allemand et si les germanophones y forment une partie importante de la population, il n’y a là aucun mystère. Cette région sise dans le Trentin-Haut-Adige est bornée au nord par l’Autriche et a appartenu au Tyrol autrichien jusqu’à la fin de la première guerre mondiale. C’est là qu’est né Lorenzo Frachetti en février 1946. Mais ce n’est pas ce qui, dans sa région natale, a le plus marqué son imaginaire. C’est dans le Trentin-Haut-Adige que sont situées les Dolomites, ou Alpes dolomitiques, qui culminent à une altitude de 3 342 mètres. Cette région constitue la nature à son plus majestueux puisque, entaillée par toutes ces crêtes, elle ne peut aussi qu’être semée de profondes vallées fluviales et de multiples lacs en miroirs. Frachetti y passa une enfance d’émerveillement.

Toute cette beauté sauvage, cette proximité avec différents peuples, résidants ou attirés dans la région par les stations de ski nombreuses, ont fait de Frachetti un être ouvert, assoiffé d’espace, de connexion avec la différence, d’audace. C’est ainsi qu’en 1967, il décida de prendre le large. Il voulait de l’espace. La carte du monde lui offrit l’Australie et le Canada. Frachetti aimait l’hiver. Il mit Ie doigt sur le Canada. Même si Montréal faisait beaucoup parler d’elle à l’époque – c’était l’année de l’exposition universelle – c’est Toronto qu’il choisit. Une nouvelle vie commençait. Chance du debutant : il tomba sur une offre d’emploi qui allait lui épargner les soucis monétaires et sociaux auxquels font très souvent face les nouveaux arrivants. George Lonn, éditeur réputé qui publiait des livres sur l’Arctique et enseignait à l’Academy of Ontario Artists, était à la recherche d’un illustrateur. Frachetti était son homme. Avant de quitter l’Europe, il avait mis dans ses bagages une solide formation à l’Académie des beaux-arts de Milan puis s’était ensuite établi en Suisse où, pendant deux ans, il avait poursuivi sa formation en design artistique.

Lorenzo Frachetti rêvait d’espace, il en eut plus qu’il n’avait jamais espéré. Son travail l’amena dans la région des îles de Baffin, où il accumulait esquisses, photographies et notes. Il y a de cela 30 ans. N’est-ce pas qu’on y était a l’époque des pionniers ? Frachetti trouva dans le grand Nord des populations et des spectacles auxquels il s’identifia : solitude, calme, horizon sans limite et – malgré le froid et la glace – chaleur et regroupement chez les peuples autochtones chez qui il eut le bonheur d’être invité. Si on lui demande ce qui constitue l’âme de l’Arctique, il n’hésite pas à répondre que c’est son peuple à l’esprit créatif qui dispose de beaucoup de temps libre, en particulier l’hiver. Les Inuits aiment les arts et les artistes et ont un grand talent pour la sculpture. Il a fait de magnifiques portraits en noir et blanc de certains de ces hommes et femmes-là. À cette époque, son sentiment était que le noir et blanc peut donner un rendu beaucoup plus dramatique des sentiments humains et de l’effet de la nature sur ces visages burinés par les éléments, les joies et les tristesses de la vie.

Entre 1974 et 1976, Lorenzo Frachetti retourna en Europe. Il se remit à l’école et comprit une fois pour toutes qu’il ne voulait plus du carcan de la formation académique. Il allait plutôt se créer un style à lui qui relèverait « d’un dialogue entre la spontanéité et la discipline, entre la passion de la liberté et la conviction que ce qu’il y a de mystérieux dans son sujet ne se cueille qu’à travers son étude à la fois amoureuse et studieuse ». Depuis, il va son chemin, tâchant de nous donner une vision particulière de l’espace géographique le plus spécial de notre pays. C’est cela la mission de ce peintre venu d’ailleurs. Quand on connaît son cheminement, on ne se demande plus ce qu’un émigrant entendait nous montrer de nos propres terres. Il nous répondrait probablement ce que Voltaire disait en son temps à ceux qui lui reprochaient d’écrire sur la France à partir de l’étranger : « Pour écrire l’histoire de son pays, il faut être hors de son pays ». Il est vrai que Voltaire n’avait pas toujours le choix. Les autorités françaises l’attendaient souvent à l’époque avec une invitation en bonne et due forme à la prison de la Bastille… Mais il reste que la distance provoque une plus grande objectivité et qu’il fallait peut-être l’œil d’un Européen pour nous apprendre les beautés du soleil arctique.

Nous avons demandé à Frachetti de nous parler d’une de ses toiles qui lui est particulièrement chère et qui est en même temps représentative de son œuvre. Il nous a décrit Welcome Party. Il s’agit d’une immense toile de 36 x 48 pouces. Il y a là des bleus profonds et l’eau est presque or à cause de l’effet solaire. Ceux qui sont là pour souhaiter la bienvenue, ce sont les chiens qui at-tendent leur maître, un Inuit dans toute sa grandeur de l’homme du dos de la terre. Il est là sur la glace, parti à la chasse au phoque. Les chiens racés, l’homme dans sa grandeur sont à la recherche de leur survie charnelle. Lorenzo Frachetti veut aussi par son œuvre contribuer à la survivance de toutes ces traditions du Nord.

Pour clore notre entrevue, nous lui avons demandé de nous parler d’une autre scène, d’un autre animal caractéristiques de son art. La réponse ne tarda pas. « Il s’agit de l’ours que j’aime représenter sous bien des angles, en bien des situations. Je lui accorde une place privilégiée parce que cet animal est vraiment un grand seigneur. Mais j’aime le peindre pour une autre raison ». Ici Lorenzo prend le ton amusé du professeur sûr de produire son effet : « Je suis fou de l’Arctique qui, comme vous le savez sûrement, porte le nom de l’ours…» Il le savait bien, allez, que nous risquions de faire partie du nombre élevé de Canadiens qui pensent à tort que le mot Arctique tire ses origines d’un quelconque arc polaire ou nordique. Il met les pendules a l’heure. Le peintre venu d’ailleurs souhaite que nous sachions tous que l’Arctique tire son nom de deux mots grecs : arktikos qui signifie de l’ours et arktos qui veut dire ours. L’ours, grand seigneur, est au cœur de l’œuvre de Lorenzo Frachetti, parce que c’est aussi le nom de sa région préférée du globe!