Covelli, Vito

Covelli, Vito (1882-1958)

In 1882 Vito Covelli was born in southern Italy in the city of Bari. He attended public schools and night school studying electricity and electrical chemistry. He began his study of art under Ugenti in 1890. He came to the United States in 1903. In New York City in 1905, he studied art under Kenyon Cox. Covelli became a well known landscape painter, and his paintings were exhibited in New York City from 1910-1915. In 1913 he married the former opera star, Claire Felice de Guine, and in 1926 the couple moved to “heavily wooded land” on West Hill Road in Barkhamsted, Connecticut. There they lived simply, without electricity or an automobile. Vito painted while Claire composed music and wrote poetry. The Covellis called their place a “National Rural Art Museum,” and when visitors stopped by, the two would show them the hundreds of paintings in their home. In 1937 Covelli joined the WPA Federal Arts Project and painted for the art project until spring 1941. He completed 125 oil paintings of the nearby landscape. His art was allocated throughout the state to such institutions as public schools, state sanatoria, mental health hospitals, schools for the developmentally challenged, the Soldiers’ Home in Rocky Hill, and Fort Wright on Fishers Island in the Long Island Sound. In 1958 Vito Covelli died. He was predeceased by his wife in 1955. The family continues to live at his residence on West Hill Road and has retained many of Covelli’s paintings.

Sources: WPA Artist’s Work Card; WPA Biography; AskART; Ernest N. Dickinson, “The Secret of Happiness is Richly Theirs,” Hartford Courant Magazine, October 19, 1952; Claire F. Covelli’s obituary,Hartford Courant, January 21, 1955; Obituaries: January 25, 1958,Hartford Courant, January 35, 1958, Waterbury American, January 25, 1958, Litchfield Enquirer, January 30, 1958, Torrington Register, January 25, 1958; “Barkhamsted,” Hartford Courant, January 26, 1958.

Vito Covelli

Works of Art Listed in CT Archives’ database from Vito Covelli:

On the Hill Top: oil
Stream’s Edge: oil
Autumn Woods: oil
Bitter Sweet: oil
Woodman’s Home: oil
On the Farm: oil
Wild Life Disturbed: oil
Late Summer: oil
A Farm House: oil
Autumn Landscape: oil
Halloween: oil
First Ski Lesson: oil
Work and Play: oil
Fall Ploughing: oil
Hunter’s Shack: oil
Feeding Time: oil
Homeward Bound: oil
Snow Scene # 2: oil
Evergreens: oil
His First Attempt: oil
Coming Through the Road: oil
The Little Red Barn: oil
Winter Gowns and Stump: oil
Betwixt Winter and Spring: oil
Spring New Arrivals: oil
Rover Serenading: oil
Waterfall: oil
Morning Call: oil
Laurel: oil
Before Midnight: oil
Sundown: oil
Laurels in June: oil
Pastures in Glory: oil
Summer Evening: oil
Campers in Moon & Auto Light: oil
Farm Scene: oil
Picking Berries: oil
Golden Glow Asters: oil
Approaching Home: oil
Connecticut Hills and Vale or Panorama: oil
Pleasant Valley and Hills: oil
Among the Birches: oil
Preparing for Work: oil
Pool in the Woods: oil
Trail in the Woods: oil
Strolling Market: oil
Sunset in the Hills: oil
Abandoned Wagon or Cart: oil
Abandoned Farmhouse: oil
Running Brook in the Woods: oil
In the Hills of Barkhamsted, Conn.: oil
Spring Awakening in the Woods: oil
Gray Day in Spring: oil
Orchard in Bloom: oil
Laurels and Hills: oil
Among the Laurels: oil
Laura and Laurels: oil
Peonies: oil
Working on the Spillway, Bark.: oil
Late Afternoon in Barkhamsted: oil
A Nook on the Lake: oil
Early Morning: oil
Gladiolus: oil
Litchfield Hills in Glory: oil
Bottle Gentius: oil
Bitter Sweet: oil
Autumn Leaves Bouquet: oil
A Sunset: oil
Season’s First Snow: oil
Frosty Night: oil
Woodman’s Hut: oil
Rainpond: oil
Escape from the Coopyard: oil
Ben Davises: oil
From Tree to Stump: oil
Leaning Silo: oil
A Bright Winter Day: oil
Outskirt of Town: oil
Sledding: oil
Bunny: oil
Country Retreat: oil
Watering Hole: oil
Spring: oil
The Sleigh: oil
Down the River: oil
A Small Village or Panorama: oil
The Cabin: oil
Landscape: oil
Day’s End: oil
Spring: oil
Glittering of Spring: oil
Prima-Vera: oil
Close of Day: oil
House in the Hills: oil
Flooded Road: oil
Feeding the Ground: oil
Spring Time: oil
Bracing the Old Barn: oil
Washed Out Bridge: oil
A Sprig of Laurel: oil
Connecticut Wild Flowers: oil
Yellow Lillium: oil
Red Lillium: oil
Grazing: oil
Brookside: oil
After the Hurricane: oil
Enjoying a Repast: oil
End of the New Road: oil
About to Roam: oil
An Afternoon: oil
Snow Drift: oil
Woodchopper / Woodcutter’s Hut: oil
Road in the Woods: oil
Autumn Afternoon: oil
Birches: oil
Farmland in Autumn: oil
In Search: oil
A Lake: oil
Forest Road: oil
Autumn: oil
Lake Landing: oil
Winter Scene: oil
Trees in Swamp: oil
Picking Autumn Leaves: oil
Autumn Snow Storm: oil
Winter: oil
Moonlight: oil
Down the Valley:  
Gray Day in Spring:  
Abandoned Cart:  
White Flowers in Field: oil
Erosion: oil
Covelli, Vito