An art connoisseur whose life is as colorful as her massive collection, Carla Nicole De Petris has spent her life demonstrating her deep passion for history and culture. She was born in Torino, a charming city in northern Italy, where she began to unfurl her admiration for the arts. She received a business degree from one of the oldest schools across Europe, the University of Torino, focusing on art history and architecture. She also pursued further studies in the U.S., where she expanded her knowledge under the mentorship of renowned professors at the Otis College of Art & Design, Sonoma State University, and the College of Marin. She has built a vast collection of important art pieces, particularly those from the Renaissance period, which has inspired both her work and advocacies.
Carla’s artistic prowess has also taken her to many parts of the world, sometimes as a spectator, but other times as an artist herself. One of her most recent accomplishments combines her passion for Renaissance art and literature in a book titled The Madonna of Divine Love by Raffaello. The book explores the painting’s journey while celebrating Raffaello’s short but insightful life, who is regarded as one of the greatest painters of the Renaissance period, along with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.
It started when Carla met and became friends with the painting owner, which dates back to 1518. From that encounter, she vowed to determine whether the artwork was the original or made by Raffaello’s pupil, Gianfrancesco Penni. For Carla, seeing the painting for the first time yielded a revelation and gave her a hint that it was indeed an original Raffaello. As an artist herself who was heavily invested in her craft, Carla moved from one city to another, scoured the libraries for evidence and historical facts, and met countless people to prove the painting’s authenticity. Her book explores that process and the monumental life led by one of the greatest artists of all time, weaving together important insights from history from the lens of modern times.