The Art of Principato 
 a contemporary New England impressionist, author and instructo

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A Profile of the Artist

Mr. Principato started his art training at an early age.  He had the good fortune to have the high school art teacher take a personal interest in his talent.  At thirteen he received private art instruction and general guidance concerning his artistic development.

After military service Mr. Principato attended the Vesper George School of Art where many well known artists preceded him.  In 1970 he enrolled in the class of world famous portrait artist Everett Raymond Kinstler at the Art Students League of New York City.  The following school year Mr. Principato was selected to study with renowned Boston painter Robert Douglas Hunter, and two years later was invited and accepted in the atelier of R.H. Ives Gammell at the Fenway Studio Building, Boston, MA.

After this Mr. Principato decided to round out his studies by returning to the Art Students League where he received a Ford Foundation Scholarship and a Merit Scholarship enabling him to study portrait and figure painting for the next three and one half years.  A this time Ernest studied with the international sculptor Jose Decreeft and anatomy teacher Robert Beverly Hale.





In Robert Schultz's morning classes for two years, Ernest also studied the 'Reilly' Method of Painting and Drawing.  This was particularly important because much of the old masters' knowledge and technique of drawing was painstakingly gleaned and combine by Frank J. Reilly himself to bring together the best and most complete approach to draughsmanship painting.  

Nicolai Fechin was also one of Henry Hensche's major influences for drawing, next to Holbein, which will be explained further in Mr. Principato's upcoming book.  From 1970 to 1978 Mr. Principato studied nine summers at the Cape Cod School of Art with painter and colorist Henry Hensche, the protégé of Cape Cod School founder Charles W. Hawthorne established in 1899.

Teacher and student

This unique combination of training has given Mr. Principato the seldom acquired artistic skills and vision to bring together the age old conflicts between the linear drawing approach of the Renaissance Masters / 19th century academicians and the colorist tenets of the founding fathers of impressionism (culminating with Claude Monet at that time.).

Art is a journey whose end should never be reached.  The growth of one's personal artistic development is primarily dependent upon an attitude that should be cultivated with great care, wisdom and open mind constantly searching.  At the end of one critique Henry Hensche once told Mr. Principato "The Greeks excelled because they had the love for learning."


What the eye perceives in an instant, I translate into an epiphanic experience on canvas.”

This is the way in which Ernest Principato describes his paintings. Mr. Principato’s unique style creates the vibrant colors of the Impressionist school of painting combined with the compositional structure of the Old Masters. After decades of study, he has developed a unique perspective that allows traditional standards to be reinterpreted with color.

Collecting many prizes, this style of American Impressionism has been exhibitedthroughout the United States ad Canada including the National Gallery of Art in Bermuda. While traveling to paint and teach around the US, Mr. Principato has spoken on radio programs explaining his concepts or artistic interpretation.

In addition to numerous art associations, he has been a participant in the following art organization: the National Arts Club of New York City, the Pastel Society of America,Society of American Impressionist, and International Society of Marine Painters. This artist founded American Art Productions to expand an understanding of color as the essential element of impressionistic painting while incorporating classical principals of form and compositional construction.

During his early art education, Mr. Principato sought out some of the most influential artist of the last 50 year to glean knowledge: beginning with the Vesper George school of Art, Boston MA; then training with Robert D. Hunter, Boston, MA; selected as a private student by R. H. Ives Gammell Atelier, Boston, MA; studied with portraitists Everett R. Kinstler and Richard L. Seyffert, Art Students League, NYC; sculpted with Jose DeCreeft, NY; and studied with Henry Hensche, Cape Cod School of Art.

Mr. Principato on location in Newport, RI

First to recognize the artist’s talent with a series of commissions for his private collection was Dr. C. Vermuele, Curator of Classical Painting at Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Since then other commissions have followed and his paintings are now included in corporate, public, and private collections. Currently, Mr. Principato travels extensively to teach and paint.