Arturo Nathan was born in Trieste in 1891.
After serving in the British Army as a conscientious objector, he was deeply traumatised by the experience. Back in Trieste, Edoardo Weiss, who had studied with Freud, encouraged Nathan to take up painting as a way to tackle his depression. Although a self-taught painter, he was already exhibiting his works at Venice Biennial in 1926. He would show his works in Venice again in 1928, in 1930 and in 1932. “L' incendiario” was acquired for the collection of Moscow's Museum of Modern Art, and today is displayed at the Hermitage in St Pietroburgo. He also exhibited his works at the Galleria Milano, run by Vittorio Barbaroux, and was noticed by Giorgio de Chirico. He took part in two editions of Rome's Quadriennale.
Towards the end of the 30s, with the issuing of the race laws, Nathan stopped producing oil paintings. He was sent to internal exile in the Marche's region, and there he only realized crayon works, nonetheless precious and incredibly luminous. From there, he was deported to Bergen-Belsen's concentration camp, and later to Biberach, where he died in 1944.
Nathan's output consisted of a small number of works: about eighty are left today, some others were destroyed when his house was bombed. Some of his works are currently displayed at the Museo Civico d'Arte Contemporanea in Milan, at the Museum of Modern Art in Tel Aviv and at the Museo Revoltella in Trieste, that dedicated him a a retrospective in 1976. A big exhibition, curated by Vittorio Sgarbi, was organized at the Centro Saint-Benin in Aosta in 1992.
Galleria Torbandena has been interested in Nathan's art for the last twenty years, and has dedicated to the artist a wide retrospective in 2006 to celebrate his sister Daisy turning 100. On that occasion, the book “Il ghiaccio del mare” was published. Furthermore, Francesco Montenero realized “Presentimenti”, a beautiful video on Nathan's poetics, narrated by the voice of actor Omero Antonutti.
Selected works by Nathan are currently on display at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence within the great exhibition “De Chirico, Max Ernst, Magritte, Balthus. Uno sguardo nell'invisibile”(A glance into the invisible). On the artist's poetics, many have written, including Jean Girmounsky, Umbro Apollonio, Gillo Dorfles, Maurizio Fagiolo dell'Arco and Antonello Trombadori.
Galleria Torbandena, on behalf of the Nathan Margadonna family, takes care of the works' archiving, the coordination of the artist's exhibitions and the certification of unseen works.