Letizia Pitigliani, the daughter of an Italian father and a Dutch mother, arrived in my class at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome when she was only fifteen years old. She was eighteen when she received her artistic diploma. Such a case of precocity, combined with clear ideas and a precise and instinctive methodology, I believe is not to be encountered frequently. From the very beginning I became aware of the "quality" of the young woman, still only a girl, for the ease with which she moved in the art world, naturally and with simplicity, truly belonging. She was not a "student" but an artist taking her first steps. This sense of balance was innate in Letizia Pitigliani, a young artist who never posed polemical problems for herself. It was not necessary given the clear, spontaneously native communion of her spirit with the sensible and fantastic aspects of the Universe. The artist was never concerned with the need, the demand, indeed the vanity to abuse creativity in order to express it, to be modern by seeking an arbitrary, illusory world through a trendy libertinism which is ultimately impotent.
"The world is what it is," Letizia seemed to think. Her very human, sweetly ironic, serene, severe nature, at the same time innocent and practical, was equipped with a subtle intuitive and emotive side (seen in her penetrating, inquisitive glance) which made her a "classic," a "realist," just as her bearing and deportment are classic and erect. But the paintings which blossom from her hands with serene boldness are the most sincere and unconstrained possible.
Letizia Pitigliani displays a modern sense of color, vivid and accomplished, which runs the gamut of tones from the most luminous to the most tenebrous. She has the impeccable precision of observation of the portrait painter, as revealed by several examples included here. Furthermore, she readily combines a pictorial approach with a calculated sense of composition. And what is most captivating is the artist's freedom, originality and personality which even unconsciously winds itself through her pictorial expression.
This is Letizia Pitigliani, the very young, gifted painter. And he who truly understands painting and who is without prejudice and sophisms and knows me well, will easily see that what I have to say is truth itself and not self-indulgence. My words reveal human enthusiasm and warmth for such an outstanding and unique talent, so evident and so promising.
- Roberto Melli, Rome, 1954