Vincent Capraro, one of Rockland’s finest resident artists, passes away

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"The Jews of Vught," by Vincent Capraro
“The Jews of Vught,” by Vincent Capraro, 16 by 8 feet, 1991, cover illustration of 1992 catalogue

Vincent Capraro, passed away on October 5 at the Veterans Home in Montrose, New York, aged 96 years, 11 months. He was a Piermont resident for 50 years, living and working as an artist with his wife Tatiana Onus, also an artist, who survives him at age 99.

2Mr. Capraro’s works are familiar to many Rocklanders who have attended his exhibitions at The Hopper House in Nyack, The Art Student’s League Vytlacil Campus, and the Blue Hill Art Center in Pearl River. Capraro sculpted the bust of Columbus that is on display at the New City courthouse.

His evocative statue of a grieving fireman greets visitors to the Sparkill firehouse. Those works, and his many paintings which range from landscapes to portraiture and abstracts, show his classical training and technique derived from the old masters, in a modern application.

3Most Capraro works are mainly in private collections, but one magnum opus, an enormous oil called “Jews Of Vught,” resides at a Holocaust Museum in Krakow, Poland. Stark drawings on a Holocaust theme were exhibited at the Knesset in Jerusalem in the 1990s. Those drawings and other dramatic large-scale apocalyptic oils were shown in Manhattan at the Yeshiva University Museum in 2005.

Vincent Capraro was born in Italian Harlem in 1916 to immigrant parents, and grew up in farm-like Williamsbridge in the north-east Bronx of the 1920s and 30s. An accomplished CCNY athlete and USMC Captain in World War II, Capraro relocated to Rome with his wife Tatiana, where he spent most of the 1950s absorbing Renaissance influences.

After returning to New York in the early 1960s, Capraro’s early works caught the attention of American celebrity collectors including actors Vincent Price and Anthony Quinn, opera singer Robert Merrill, photographer Sam Shaw, TV producer Sandy Frank and architect Edward Durell Stone, who commissioned a mural that adorned his famed Manhattan townhouse. The Capraros settled in Piermont shortly thereafter, where Vincent taught and worked at his home studio.

Photos from The City Review

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