The International Center for the Study of Painting (ICSP) was founded by the painters Vincent Desiderio and Bernardo Siciliano. The aim of the Center is to promote a rigorous study of painting. The ICSP hosts a program of workshops held annually in the city of Orvieto, Italy.


The differences that at one time separated figuration from abstraction and conceptual painting are no longer relevant.  Painting is always and everywhere representational, conceptual, ironic and abstract.  These components, over the last century, have found expression in a variety of new media and styles but they have always been at play within the historical practice of painting.


Therefore, today the rejuvenation of painting and the pedagogical methods that provide for its instruction would require a re-evaluation (through close reading) of information embedded within the narrative fabric of technique.  This calls for a historical approach that traces, through the different technical strategies of painters, threads of argument concerning the nature of pictorial thought.


With a focus spanning the area between execution and theory, students will develop a deeper awareness of the choices they make regarding technique.  They will develop a clearer understanding of the historical origins and precedents related to their own aspirations as painters and be able to place their explorations within the context of today’s horizon of expectations.



Vincent Desiderio was born in 1955.  He graduated from Harverford College in 1977 and later attended the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, Italy followed by four years at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.  He is a Senior Critic at the New York Academy of Art and has been a visiting professor at numerous universities both within the US and abroad.  He has been granted a three year appointment at the Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts in China through the country’s “Thousand Talent Program.”


Desiderio has received several grants and painting awards among which are the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant; Two National Endowment for the Arts Grants (1987, 1991); The Grand Prize of S.A.S. Prince Rainer III, Thirtieth Annual Show of Contemporary Art in Monte-Carlo, Monaco in 1996.  He was the first American to receive that award.  In both 1984 and 1986 he was awarded studios by the Institute for Art and Urban Resources, P.S.1.  He is the recipient of honorary doctorates from both the New York Academy of Art and the Lyme Academy.  In 2007, Desiderio was invited to be Artist in Residence at Dartmouth College.


His work can be found in many important public collections, including: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC; Galerie Sammlung Ludwig, Aachen, Germany; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Museum of American Art, Philadelphia, PA; The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City; The Albright Knox Museum, New York; Museo Botero, Bogota, Columbia, and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.


Numerous articles about Vincent Desiderio have appeared in periodicals and magazines including the New York Times, The New Yorker, Art Forum, Art in America, Art News, The Village Voice, The New York Post, The New York Sun, The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquire, Le Figaro, American Art (Smithsonian Publication), Comparative Literature (University of Oregon) and others.


In 2005, D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers published a major monograph devoted to his oeuvre, Vincent Desiderio: Paintings 1975-2005, with significant texts by Donald Kuspit, Barry Schwabsky, Lawrence Weschler and Mia Fineman.


Theseus Vincent Desiderio on Art (interviewed by Danial Maidman) was published by Griffith Moon in 2018.


In 2016, Desiderio’s painting SLEEP was used as the basis for Kanye West’s video, FAMOUS.

  • Facebook - Black Circle

Bernardo Siciliano was born in Rome 1969, son of the Italian writer, playwright, literary critic and intellectual Enzo Siciliano. The artist grew up in an exciting cultural environment, interacting with the big Italian artists of the time who surrounded him. His approach to the painting practice started early in his childhood and continued
expanding throughout the years, exploring and absorbing different pictorial trends. Siciliano’s work holds the precious teachings of the old masters: the descriptive use of the light visible in Caravaggio paintings, Cezanne sharp paintbrush, Lucian Freud’s pale skin subjects, Rotkho and Gustave Caillebotte visual language. His adoptive city, New York, is the source of his unceasing inspiration; his works represent people and places as part of the artist’s everyday life, each subject is depicted with strong realism, intimacy and humanity.

Siciliano has exhibited internationally in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago Rome and Milano in both solo and group exhibitions. In 1998 he was the winner of the XXXII Prix International d’Art Contemporain, Montecarlo. In 2001 he was the recipient of the Premio Cairo Communication, Milano, Italy and in 1995, the Premio Suzzara, Montova
as well as the XXII Premio Sulmona, l’Acquila, Italy. His work is housed in numerous public and private collections.


Siciliano lives and works in New York, where he is professor at the New York Academy of Art.

  • Facebook - Black Circle
  • Instagram - Black Circle


Vincent Desiderio, Director

Vincent Desiderio is a Senior Critic at the New York Academy of Art. He is also visiting professor at the Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts, China.  He has been teaching and lecturing internationally for over thirty years

Bernardo Siciliano, Director

Bernardo Siciliano is currently on the faculty of the New York Academy of Art.  He has taught at the Accademia di belle arti, Napoli and lectured at the Palazzo delle esposizioni in Rome.  

Roxanne Ritacco, Associate Director

Roxanne Ritacco, painter, designer and certified teacher, received her M.F.A. from the Graduate School of Figurative Art of the New York Academy of Art. She earned a B.F.A. in Environmental Design from Parsons School of Design and an A.A.S. in Interior Design. She has studied decorative arts at the Museum des Art Decoratifs, The Louvre, Paris. She received her education certification from the School of Visual Arts.  Roxanne heads ICSP planning, promotion and collaboration projects.

Carolina de Luca, Italian Liaison and Registered Student Contact 

Carolina de Luca received her M.A. and M.Phil. in Comparative Literature from the Graduate Center, City University of New York.  She earned her B.A. in English Literature from Hunter College. Her areas of interest include: English Romantic Poetry, African-American Literature, Modernism, Early Modern Europe, Dante. Carolina is the contact person for all logistical matters regarding Orvieto including hôtel accommodations, local businesses, transportation options, and general questions concerning studio operations.

Katie Hemmer, Adjunct Instructor

Katie Hemmer, earned her M.F.A .from the New York Academy of Art and a B.F.A. from Pratt Institute. She is currently Director of Admissions at the New York Academy of Art. She has been an Instructor at the Huntington School of Fine Arts of Fine Art.  Katie is the instructor for our Landscape program.  Please see our Workshops page for more details.

Blaze Nowara, Filmmaker

Blaze Nowara is a documentary and travel filmmaker based in New York City. He has worked in countries around the world including Jordan, Colombia, Panama, Canada, Nepal, Mexico, Thailand, Ireland, Indonesia, Italy and the Philippines. His work can be found on his company's site as well as  Blaze earned his M.A. from Monmouth University.

Rochelle Ritacco, Webmaster

Rochelle Ritacco received her B.A. in communications with a concentration in Fine Art from Seton Hill University. She also has certification in Digital Art (BCC) and Filmmaking (NYU).   For that last decade, she has been specializing in image forensics focusing on fraudulent manipulation of scientific images.  Please contact Rochelle regarding errors, omissions or compliments on the website.



Special thanks to:

Maria de Luca
Flaminia Siciliano
Grand Hotel Italia, Orvieto