Romano Rizzato’s earliest work was done in a twofold register: on the one hand his interest in architecture and in the human figure, encompassed in the dimension of official and family portraits; and on the other, his commitment to illustration for publishing. This work also prompted him to adopt the signature “Sergio”, as if to distinguish the different intentions brought into play, from the descriptive ability of the “applied” figure, to the desire for synthesis in each autonomous work.
The decision to paint views of Milanese urban scenes, for the most part reflecting a new and traditionally unpoetic industrial architecture, was certainly inherited from an early twentieth century tradition and from postwar movements that sought to qualify urban suburbs as subjects for painting. It also served as an exercise in the framing and balancing of volumes that were to be a constant of his later developments.
Both in his portraits and in his illustrations, Rizzato is primarily concerned with the theatrical effect which the presentation of a childhood image must necessarily produce: from the archaic choice of profile in the “Portrait of Ada”, to the high/low diagonal point of view of the illustration to the children’s tale.