PleinAir Salon art competition - Alessandra Marrucchi
"Two Self-Portraits and a Lot Of Life in the Middle" (oil on canvas, 95x45 cm) by Alessandra Marrucchi, won the "Best Artist Over 65" category for the February/March 2020 PleinAir Salon

Congratulations to Alessandra Marrucchi (, whose work has been recognized in the PleinAir Salon, a monthly art competition with many categories in which to enter your art.

PleinAir Salon Art Competition Winner Alessandra Marrucchi on “Two Self-Portraits and a Lot Of Life in the Middle”

At the end of the 1970s, I did not share the way in which art was taught in academies at the time. I felt the need to start with solid foundations that did not deny all the teaching that could come from previous generations. I think I can say that I was the only Italian in Florence to enter and attend assiduously for a few years at that time, Studio Simi.

The only studio in Florence, Studio Simi was kept alive by an elderly painter Nerina Simi (1890-1987), daughter of the famous painter Filadelfo Simi (1849-1923). This artist, a skilled draftsman trained at the drawing academy in Florence, had also spent a few years in Paris in Jean-Léon Gérôme’s studio. He had therefore managed to merge the love for drawing and the colouristic Tuscan painting of the second half of the 19th century (the Macchiaioli era) with the refinements typical of French painting. Her daughter Nerina, also a sensitive painter, had decided to dedicate her life to transmitting all this.

I spent about 5 years in this studio before starting my business as a professional painter and portrait painter. But after ten years, finding a wall in Italy in the confrontation of a real opening and development of this art, I closed myself, no longer showing my work outside. I thank this new American movement Realism Today, which includes Plein Air magazine, Fine Art Connoisseur magazine, the Art Renewal Center (ARC) the MEAN, and Kara Ross. They gave hope and real development possibilities to a contemporary realist art based on a high technical quality that only years of study can give and therefore develop a rich and profound work.

Only recently I came back to this world, seeing the possibility of being able to communicate my life experience and as a painter. Especially in this last painting I wanted to express all this. Between the first self-portrait and the last one there is a life in the middle, but I hope that now, despite the age, a new phase as a painter will open, in which I can still give a lot, and teach young people that seriousness, commitment, hard study, and work always reward, and that it is the only way to fully express your own art and personality.

Additional Contemporary Realism Paintings by Alessandra Marrucchi:

contemporary realism Allesandro Marrucci painting
“L’Abbandono,” oil on canvas, 70×100 cm
contemporary realism Allesandro Marrucci painting
“Maelstrom,” oil on canvas, 50×70 cm
Portrait drawings
“Elena,” colored pencils and pastels on paper, 70×50 cm
Oil portrait paintings
“My Daughter Francesca,” oil on canvas, 65×35 cm
Oil portrait paintings
“Self-Portrait in Evening Dress,” oil on allinpanel, 40.6×30.5 cm
Oil portrait paintings - art competition
“Mediterranean Vision,” oil on canvas, 110×75 cm


Other categories for the PleinAir Salon art competition include Best Building, Best Drawing and Sketches, and many more! Visit to view the complete list.

Why should a contemporary realist enter the PleinAir Salon?

Because this art contest is created by Plein Air magazine, which features not only plein air paintings, but also studio paintings, all types of paintings are eligible and do not need to have been completed in plein air, but should originate from a plein air study or plein air experience. As we know, many studio paintings start with plein air sketches. Our interest is in rewarding great paintings.


Enter now – the next deadline is coming soon!

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If you’ve never entered, it only takes a couple of minutes to create your own account. Once you do that, just upload the images of your best work and select the categories you wish to enter – very manageable to do!

All of our awards are CASH, with the grand prize winner getting called up on stage at the Plein Air Convention & Expo to claim their check for $15,000. That grand prize winner will also have their winning painting featured on the cover of PleinAir Magazine (can it get any better?).

There are smaller cash awards, too, and you can find out all about them here. Remember, even if a previous judge did not select your painting, our current judge just might find it to be a winner!

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