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By Corbino, Jon; Londraville, Richard; Londraville, Janis; Corbino, Jon

A biography of 1 of America's ignored grand masters.

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Additional resources for Corbino: From Rubens to Ringling

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His favorites were Tintoretto, Titian, and Rubens, who in response to the wishes of their patrons often centered their work on Christian or mythological subjects. What attention they paid to ordinary people was often as a backdrop for a Christ or an Achilles. Corbino was able to take these background elements and move them forward to shine a new light on them. The twentieth-century common man, warts and all, became the subject that most attracted him. Although the setting is important, it is secondary to empathy with the men and women who began to inhabit Corbino’s paintings.

Smoking was usually allowed, and the shops became tinderboxes that only needed a spark to erupt in flame. Two years before Salvatrice began her employment, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory at 23–29 Washington Place, at the north corner of Washington Square East in Greenwich Village, burned. It was near closing time on Saturday evening: Joseph J. Asch . . insisted that his building was fireproof and complied with all fire regulations. Yet on 25 March 1911, 146 workers, most of them young women, died when fire flew through the locked workspace at Triangle.

During several decades in the early twentieth century, for example, Little Italy elementary schools required the children to repeat daily: “What must we do to be healthy? I must keep my skin clean, wear clean clothes, breathe pure air, and live in the sunlight” (Riis, 91). As newcomers came to America and migrated from the lower class to the middle, the latest greenhorns had to contend with the xenophobia the previous groups had faced, and inherited the standard insults and epithets. During those early years in America, members of every other group in the neighborhood judged the newcomers.

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