BRITISH COLUMBIA ARTISTS  

Sveva Caetani (Ms.)
(Sveva Ersilia Giovanella Maria Caetani di Sermoneta)

August 16 1917 - April 27 1994

University of Victoria (teaching certificate)

Sveva Caetani was born in Rome, Italy, to one of the oldest families in Rome. Her father Leone Caetani was Duke of Sermoneta and Prince of Teano, and a scholar who wrote a 12-volume set of books about Islam. Her father was worried about the rise of fascism in Italy, and in 1921 moved the family to the Okanagan region of British Columbia, where he had apparently visited in 1899.

After the death of her father in 1935 Sveva lived in home-seclusion with her mother for 25 years. For years she was not allowed to even leave the house, and eventually was allowed to go out of the house into the yard. When her mother died in 1960 she left most of her possessions to the Catholic Church. Sveva, having to support herself, attended the University of Victoria and obtained her Teaching Certificate. She was a high school teacher in Vernon, and began to exhibit as an artist. She retired from teaching in 1981.

She exhibited her work at the Burnaby Art Gallery in 1974, and later had work in the 1990 Artropolis exhibition in Vancouver.

In 1975 Caetani began work on a major series of watercolours titled RECAPITULATION, and finished the project in 1989 after her retirement from teaching. The works were extensively exhibited, with selected works shown in Toronto, Ottawa, Nanaimo, Vancouver, Edmonton, Vernon, Prince George, Kelowna, Dawson Creek, Grand Prairie, and Burnaby. Eventually the artist donated the entire series to the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Edmonton. This luminous series of paintings is probably the most incredible, sustained artistic vision of imaginary realities ever painted in British Columbia.

The Caetani Centre was founded at 3401 Pleasant Valley Road in Vernon after Caetani died. It is run by the Caetani Cultural Society, with a website at caetani.org.

Exhibitions

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
DATE EXHIBITION LOCATION

GROUP EXHIBITIONS
DATE EXHIBITION ARTWORK

References - MONOGRAPHS

Refer to BIBLIO.

References - GENERAL

OKANAGAN ENERGY (refer to BAG74)

VISUAL ARTS BRITISH COLUMBIA (refer to VABC77)

ARTISTS IN CANADA 1982 - UNION LIST OF ARTISTS' FILES (refer to AIC82)

ARTROPOLIS 1990 (refer to ART90)

Not in Biographical Index of Artists in Canada.

Not in BC Vital Statistics as of April 2021

Clippings

"In Reading Sveva (Talonbooks $17.95), Daphne Marlett responds to the life and paintings of Sveva Caetani, born in Rome in 1917. ... (continues) "
      BC BOOKWORLD review, Autuman 2016 page 5


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