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Our Story

Our story begins in the southern Italian town of Agrigento on the island of Sicily during the early 1900's. It was here that a talented young artist with a keen eye for color and a strong desire to learn offered his services as an apprentice to master painters Giuseppe and Vincenzo Guadanga. Under the tutelage of these revered and talented artists, Archilao Gloria Chiarelli learned the secrets of the original Italian masters that had been faithfully passed down from generation to generation from the time of the Renaissance.

Nearly a decade later, having worked alongside these great artists in the magnificent basilicas of southern Italy, Archilao emerged as an Italian master in his own right. Armed with precious old-world knowledge of little known mixtures and skilled techniques, a bag of instruments and his precisely formulated recipes, Archilao set off to create a new life in America, the land of freedom and opportunity. In 1957, he and his family arrived in New York City where his style of painting was soon to revolutionize the American decorative market.

As word of his work spread quickly, Archilao was sought after by some of the world's most renowned designers, including Mario Buatta, Samuel Botero, and Mark Hampton. Job requests came from celebrities, politicians, and business titans alike.

When his sons Michael and Luigi were ten and eleven years old, Archilao introduced them to his recipes and techniques; and from that day forward, in any spare moment outside of school, Michael and Luigi worked side by side with their father whenever possible. Archilao was indeed a master artisan and a skilled teacher. He treated every job with the same level of dedication, commitment, and professionalism regardless of size. He consistently provided some of the finest decorative finishes available anywhere in the world, applied with the eye of a true artist, yet neither he nor his sons relinquished the secrets of his method.

As environmental awareness grew in the United States, Archilao and Michael decided to create their own line of paints and plasters that would exceed all environmental standards, while still offering the same level of artistic aestheticism that their clients had become accustomed to. In 2005, the father/son team sojourned to Italy with the sole purpose of working with top artisans and scientists in Italy to create an original line of high quality, environmentally friendly, easy to touch up, and durable decorative paints and plasters. The resulting product line has zero VOC and is used exclusively by Italian Masters® in the United States today.

Archilao, or 'Archie', as he fondly became known, passed away in 2010. But some 70 years since the eager young boy, who sought the tutelage of those great Italian artists, Archilao's legacy continues on through the work of his sons, Michael and Luigi.

"Perhaps one day I will teach my sons these techniques, but in the meantime, my goal is to carry on my father's vision and make his old world artistry accessible to all those who seek the finest decorative finishes in whatever job capacity, be it decorators, builders, architects, community planners or homeowners. I am pleased to say that the knowledge of the Italian Masters® is alive and well."Michael Gloria Chiarelli