Pier Augusto Breccia

1981 with E. Greco (Orvieto)

1984 with Reuter (Stuttgart)

1985 with the Pope (Rome)

1985 with Gucci (New York)

1985 with Lindemberg (Zurich)

1986 - Arras Gallery (New York)

1998 in his art studio (Rome)

2000 with pope (Rome)

2002 in Vittoriano Museum (Rome)







Pier Augusto Breccia was born in Trento (Italy), on April 12, 1943. His mother, Elsa Faini from Trento, was a hospital chief theatre nurse and his father, Angelo Breccia from Porano, (Orvieto) was a surgeon. In 1948 the family moved to Rome, where Pier Augusto started school and studied humanities at senior high school.

Although "the operating theatre was his nursery”, during his adolescence his surgical “predestination” contrasted with his love for humanities. At the age of fourteen, fascinated by Dante, he studied by himself the Divine Comedy and learnt to appreciate the artistic value of the allegoric representations.

At the age of sixteen, upon entering high school, he discovered the glamour of the classics. On his own initiative, he translated in blank hendecasyllabics (published by Signorelli) Sophocles' “Antigone” and “Prometheus Bound” by Aeschylus. Soon after, he translated Plato's “Dialogues”, which introduced him to Socrates, one of his great teachers. 

"What I really loved, as part of the "Sciences of the spirit", was [...] what I could make mine, not only because I understood it , but also because I felt it as mine: starting from Socrates, whose words, though said by Plato, communicated with me in the suspended language of self-consciousness, as if they rang inside me and I myself was to think and to say them, making them emerge from the silence and immediately after putting them back into the silence." (P.A. Breccia, from Introduction to Hermeneutic Painting.)

When Pier Augusto was eighteen, he graduated from high school at the “Giulio Cesare” Lyceum of Rome, distinguishing himself among the best students in Italy. 

In 1961, he followed his father's footsteps and enrolled in the medical school at the Catholic University of Rome, inaugurated the same year. In July 1967, in reward for his outstanding curriculum, he was selected to receive the first Medical Degree of the new school with the highest marks and honours (cum laude).

In the following years, he dedicated his entire time to heart-surgery, frequenting the Centre of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm under the supervision of V. O. Bjork and working at the Catholic University in Rome (Gemelli hospital) where, in 1979, he became Associate Professor and Chief Heart Surgeon. During this period, he performed over one thousand open-heart operations and had more than fifty papers published on national and international scientific journals.


In 1977, in a most casual way, he discovered an amazing talent for drawing which he never knew he possessed. Fascinated by his newly discovered skill, he practiced drawing for about two years, copying a little bit of everything. In 1979, the humanistic vocation of his youth, matured by his human experience of almost 20 years of medical life, re-emerged anew. In the following two years, he prepared his “opera prima”, Oltreomega (Beyond Omega), presented in October 1981 by the Italian critic and poet Cesare Vivaldi, Director of the Fine Art Academy of Rome. The work was received with critical and public acclaim. Between 1981 and 1983, he held a number of exhibitions in Italy and abroad (“Choral Monologue”, “The concrete shapes of the non-existent”, “The Semantics of Silence”, etc.). His new involvement as an artist became so absorbing that, in August 1983, Breccia took a leave of absence from his medical position.

In February 1984, Breccia wrote “L' Eterno Mortale" (The Eternal Mortal) introducing his aesthetic philosophy and defining his position in the art-world.

In 1985, Breccia had his first exhibition in New York at the Gucci Gallery, followed by a second one at the Arras Gallery. In that same year, he resigned his position as a surgeon and moved to New York to pursue his arti in the US. He spent the next 11 years in New York, showing his works in several American and European cities (Zurich, Columbus, Santa Fe, Miami, Houston).

In 1992, Breccia wrote “Animus-Anima”, a monumental book which showcases 500 paintings and analyses the unity and depth of his artistic language developing a deeper understanding of what, in 2004, he would have named “Hermeneutic painting”.

In 1996 Breccia's growing success and popularity took him back to Italy where he had several exhibitions in some of the most prestigious public museums (Palazzo dei Papi, Viterbo,1997; Vittoriano, Rome, 2003; Palazzo Ziino, Palermo, 2004; Palazzo dei Sette, Orvieto, 2000 and 2007; Palazzo Venezia, Rome, 2007; Rocca Paolina, Perugia, 2010; Fortezza, Montepulciano, 2012). Then, based in his studio in Rome, he continued pursuing his engagement in Europe, exhibiting in Brussels, Nice, Montecarlo and Saint Petersburg. In 1999 he wrote “The suspended language of Self-consciousness” and in 2004 he published “Introduction to Hermeneutic Painting”, his art Manifesto.


Breccia held around 80 one–man–shows and produced works purchased by collectors all over the world.


On November 20, 2017, in the same hospital in Rome where forty years earlier, he had devoted himself as a heart surgeon, Pier Augusto Breccia died at the age of seventy-four. 

2002 conference in Archivio di Stato (Rome)