Portrait of the Artist

the artist in her studio working on

American Beauty

Michela in her studio working on "American Beauty"

Artist Statement

What excites me about contemporary realism is the ability to connect with people on multiple levels. Through my artwork, I invite my audience to experience the subjects in ways that are uniquely their own. Despite the semblance of reality in my paintings, they are compositions from my imagination, which may have been ignited by a song or a movie.


Technique and skill certainly play a crucial role in my artistic process, but it is instinct and intuition that truly brings my concept to life. By staying true to the realist tradition, I endeavor to paint with unwavering honesty and authenticity, while still leaving room for personal interpretation.


An Introduction to American Beauty by author 

Tracey Norre Thomsen

Fragile, illusory, yet utterly captivating, beauty holds the promise of happiness in a brush
stroke. It’s the American Dream, to hold still the moment in time when the flowers have just unfurled, their velvet promises inviting, youth at its most vibrant. The roses are not the traditional lust-born crimson, but virginal and virtuously white.

A romantic pink light washes over the tableau. Her body is painted as alabaster, 
her hair flowing goddesslike, Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus, Aphrodite in a modern canvas. As in the 1999 movie of the same name, she embodies the unattainable. She is the idealization of desire, a search for perfection. Barbie.

Once innocently all young, we were burdened by our potential, yet untainted by life’s blows. The young woman in American Beauty surrenders in repose. She will never be this powerful again and yet she does not know that. She has as yet no idea the superficiality of the world, nor the cruelty of time.


Michela Mansuino 571 263-7696           [email protected]                         www.mansuino.com


Michela Mansuino is a highly skilled artist whose studio is located in Center City, Philadelphia. Her style is characterized by East Coast American, Contemporary, and Humanist Realism, which she executes with exceptional draftsmanship and craftsmanship. Michela's artistic journey started in Poggibonsi, Siena, Italy, where her mentor Otello Chiti offered her the use of his studio. Since then, she has had numerous studios in different parts of the world, including San Gimignano, Florence, and Recife Brazil.

Michela's childhood was immersed in music, with her parents being classical musicians who played in the National Symphony orchestra. However, her love for art was sparked during a field trip to the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, where she saw Thomas Cole's paintings of "The Voyage of Life." This led her to enroll in the Corcoran School of Art Saturday youth program, where she studied ceramics for six years. During this time, she also studied with Master fresco Painter Otello Chiti in Siena, who emphasized the importance of drawing and used the cast to teach form.

Michela's passion for art led her to pursue a BFA from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, where she studied under remarkable professors Roger Anliker and Charles Schmidt. After completing her undergraduate studies, she received permission to copy masterworks in museums throughout Europe, including the Louvre, the Prado, Uffizi, and the National Gallery in London. She then established residence in Florence, Italy, to pursue studies in art history and plein air landscape painting.

Michela's love for plein air painting was ignited by her mentor Otello Chiti, who introduced her to San Gimignano and the surrounding Tuscan countryside. She spent months accumulating meticulous detail in her compositions during plein air sessions, much like Rakestraw Downes, one of her two heroes. The other being Monet, who discovered the light key, the temperature of the color of light, which affects everything. Michela set up giant canvases on the tops of hills with views of multiple horizons and worked on two canvases at a time.

Her oil paintings are panoramas that open up a room and create the effect of looking out of a window. They are documents of harmony between architecture and agriculture and create a metaphysical bridge into the landscape, much like Antonio Canaletto's time machine into a long gone Venice. Michela found it easy to move about and set up her easel in Tuscany, where she made lifelong friends.  

After her time in Italy, Michela sought refuge from the harsh northern hemisphere winters and settled in Brazil, where she continued to produce her art in a tropical setting. She began her career as an art instructor at the American School of Recife, where she created the ceramics department and collaborated with local artists to develop and strengthen the program. Her passion for teaching was evident as she worked with middle and high school students, inspiring and nurturing their artistic talents.

Michela is a highly skilled artist whose knowledge of art history extends beyond the European Renaissance era. Her passion for expanding her expertise led her to the Baroque era, where she found her calling in figure and portrait painting. Michela honed her craft at Studio Incamminati, a contemporary humanist realism school modeled after the 1562 Bolognese school that was the first major art school based on life drawing. She graduated with a diploma of achievement, signifying a level of mastery that few achieve.

As a teaching artist in the human realist program at Studio Incamminati and a youth program instructor at the Arts of Great Falls, school of art in Virginia, Michela imparts her knowledge and skills to aspiring artists. Her work is highly regarded and is featured in collections in the United States, Italy, and Brazil. Michela exhibits and sells her paintings through museums and galleries in the United States, with her self-portrait gracing the cover of Elan Magazine.

Michela has won numerous awards and accolades, including first prize in national and regional competitions and honorable mentions in both sculpture and painting from the Portrait Society of America. Fine Art Connoisseur magazine featured her still life painting, "Still Life with Raffaello," in its July 2022 issue. Michela's mission as an artist is to paint in the realist tradition, creating works that are informative, revealing, and functional in the way paintings can provide a vertical moment in the spirit, in a language that is both universal and eternal. Her paintings are a testament to her maturity and high level of skill, evoking multiple layers of meaning that anyone can connect with.

Photo taken by two lovely tourists, summer of 2011 

 Michela Mansuino Channel, YouTube = https://www.youtube.com/@michelamansuino1069

About me on YouTube

Cherry Blossoms:

Michela Painting the Cherry Blossoms at The Tidal Basin in Washington D.C.

In the News:

About me on the Fairfax County Council For The Arts website

About Me painting in San Gimignano = Michel's background and present painting practices


Presentare Michela Mansuino, questa giovane artista italo-americana, e per me motivo particulare soddisfazione e interesse. Soddisfazione perche ebbi la ventura e il piacere di impartirle, alcun anni fa, durante un suo soggiorno a Siena, le prime lezioni di disegno: e poi, via via, durante i suoi studi in America presso la “Tyler School of Art” di Filadelfia dove si diplomo a pieni voti, e le sue frequenti permanenze in Europa e in Italia: di seguirne il brilliante cammino, confermato ad lusinghieri successi che le permisero di vincere vari premi in mostre e concorsi. Interesse e apprezzamento per il suo “credo” pittorico, basato, per quanto concerne la tecnica, sullo studio degli impressionisti e dei grandi maestri del Rinascimento (io le ho impartito anche lezioni di affresco); e, per quanto reguarda l’espressione, orientato alla rappresentazione poetica della realta, attraverso un languaggio figurative puro
e lineare, scervo dal funambolismi e astruserie di certe manifestationi attuali.

Tali qualita sono facilmente riscontrabili sopratutto nei suoi paesaggi toscani dove il suo disegno incisivo e penetrante, la sua cromia sobria e delicata, l’esatta percezzione degli spazi nel susseguirsi armionioso dei piani e dei colli, riescono a esprimere tutto il loro ineguagliabile fascino.

Va da se che l’Arte id Michela non is esaurisce qui: I’introduzione di figure anche nel paesaggio (di cui possiamo vederne anche qui qualche esempio), la viva interpretazione di certi ritratti, preannunciano interessi che vanno al di la dei temi finora trattati. E la giovane eta dell’artista, la sua serieta e impegno nel lavoro, sono di ritenersi sicure promesse per ulteriori nuovi sviluppi e conquiste, e non solo nelle tematiche. Otello Chiti, Siena, 31-10-1986


Introducing Michela Mansuino, a young Italian American artist, is for me a matter of particular satisfaction and interest. Satisfaction because I had the opportunity and the pleasure to give her drawing lessons some years ago during her sojourn in Siena; and after, during her studies in America at the “Tyler School of Art” of Philadelphia where she graduated with the highest grades, and her frequent sojourns in Europe and Italy, knowing of her brilliant activities corroborated by flattering successes which allowed her to win various prizes in exhibitions and competitions. Interest and appreciation for her pictorial “credo” based, as for matter of technique, on her study of the impressionists and the great masters of the Renaissance (I also gave her lessons in fresco painting): and also for her artistic expression oriented on the poetic representations of reality by means of a pure and linear figurative
language, absent of the nonsense and tricks of some contemporary manifestations.

Such qualities are easily found, above all, in her Tuscan landscapes where her incisive and penetrating design, her sober and delicate shade of color, her exact perception of spaces in the harmonious succession of plains and hills, succeed in expressing all of their unequaled fascination.

It goes without saying that Michela’s Art goes beyond this point: the introduction of figures even in the landscape (some examples of which may also be seen herein), the vivid interpretation of certain portraits, foreshadow interests that go beyond the themes developed up to now. And the artist’s young age, her seriousness and commitment in her work, are to be considered sure indications for further developments and conquests that go beyond mere themes.






Bill Travis, various Tuscan Landscapes, Texas

Maurizio Mora, various figure and landscape paintings, Turin, Italy

Susana Lindoso, private chapel, Saire, Pernambuco, Brazil, (32 square meters, mural art)

Pinacoteca of Poggibonsi, Siena, Italy

The Brazilian-American Cultural Institute, Washington, D.C.

Mr. and Mrs. Mike Violette, Portraits and Tuscan Landscapes

Tracey Norre Thomsen, Portraits and Tuscan Landscapes

Mr. Janos Somogyi, various paintings

Mr. Luis Chaves, Tuscan Landscapes

Mr. and Mrs. John Kennan, various Tuscan Landscapes

Dr. and Mrs. Garnet D. McPherson, various Portraits, Tuscan Landscapes and Still Life

Dr. Arlinda Martins, various still life paintings

Dr. Lucilo Avila, Recife Marina

Dra. Sandra Vilar, various Recife marinas, lanndscapes and figure paintinngs



Twenty + Tuscan Landscape Paintings, “Vienna Behavioral Clinic”, Chantilly, Virginia

"Bridging Her Life” The Hermitage Gallery, McLean, VA

"Italian Landscapes" oil paintings and graphite drawings at Gallery K, Washington., D.C.

"La Tavolozza Dorata" Galleria Casa Di Chesino, Poggibonsi, Siena, Italy


Fine Art Connoiseur Magazine, July 2022 Issue, Still Life Feature

Faculty Show at Studio Incamminati, The Bok Building, 7th Floor

Cover and central article in Elan Magazine, March 2021 and
"Bridging Her Life, Elan Magazine, June 2006 issue

"Philadelphia's Freedom" The National Liberty Museum, Philadelphia

“Strictly Painting” First Place, McLean Project Arts, Annual East Coast Exhibition

Art Renewal Center, International Salon Finalist

Finalist and Honorable Mentions, Sculpture and Painting, The Portrait Society of America

International Guild of Realism, Winter Online Salon Finalist and American Art Collector magazine

The Jack Richeson and Maggie Price Scholarship; the Philadelphia Foundation’s D. Colman Witte, and four yearly Studio Incamminati Scholarships

Freemans Auction House, Philadelphia, PA

Susan Calloway Gallery, "The Landscape Now", Georgetown, Washington, D.C.

Zenith Gallery, various shows, Washington, D.C.

"Three Landscape Painters from San Gimignano" L'Albero Celeste, San Gimignano, Siena, Italy

"The Ten Newest Pernambuco Artists" The Emporium of Bom Jesus, Recife, PE, Brazil The Philadelphia Museum of Art Gift Shop, Pastry Pastel Still Life

"Award Exhibition for Emerging Artists" Artist's Equity Association Traveling Show, U.S. East Coast Cities, "View of Pottsville, PA"

Pearl Stein Gallery, Elkins Park, PA Pastry Pastel Still life


Studio Incamminati, Certificate of Achievement Philadelphia, PA

BFA Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA Understudied Professors Roger Anliker, Chuck Schmidt and Stanley Whitney

Understudied Robert Liberace, figure painting, anatomy and portrait, The Art League, Alexandria, VA

George Mason University, twenty credits toward Masters of Art Teaching degree, Fairfax, VA

Understudied Master Fresco Painter Otello Chiti, Siena, summers, Italy


Figure Drawing and Still Life Drawing Level One Instructor, Studio Incamminati
Project Home, lead drawing and painting instructor, Studio Incamminati,
Youth Program Instructor at The Arts Of Great Falls, School of Art, classical drawing, painting
American School of Recife, Middle and High School Art Teacher, ceramics, drawing and painting