Varaldo J. (V.J.) Cariani
- Brown County
We're very interested in buying artwork by Varaldo J. (V.J.) Cariani. Please contact us for more information.
Varaldo Giuseppi Cariani (later changing his middle name to Joseph) was born in Renazo, Italy on February 8, 1891, immigrating with his family to America when he was three. He grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts and demonstrated artistic ability early on, winning a fellowship from the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation in Oyster Bay on Long Island. For a while he lived in the Tiffany mansion, studying art and taking care of the gardens.
After a move to Manhattan, Cariani studied at the National Academy of Design and then transferred to the Art Students League. His instructors included Emil Carlsen, Frank DuMond, Henry Ranger, George DeForest, Douglas Volk, Charles Davis and Kenyon Cox. It was at the Art Students League that he met Marie Goth which began their lifetime relationship.
Cariani loved his adopted country and believed it was his patriotic duty to defend it. He enlisted in the army and was assigned to the 103d Trench Mortar Battery of the American Expeditionary Force’s 28th Division.
Varaldo, or Cari as he was affectionately known, arrived back in Springfield after the war suffering from shell shock, lacking any desire to paint. Marie and her sister, Genevieve, who had bought a little cabin in Brown County, Indiana, convinced Cari that a visit to the Peaceful Valley in Brown County would restore his spirit. Cariani arrived in Indiana in the spring of 1923.
Cariani’s Brown County landscapes and still lifes were popular, and he was one of twenty Indiana artists selected to exhibit at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1933. He was a member of the Hoosier Salon, the Brown County Art Gallery Association and the Brown County Art Guild.
Cariani eventually built a house and studio across the ravine from Marie’s home. He believed that it was her invitation to the Peaceful Valley that saved his life and he remained in Brown County until his death on December 30, 1969.
We’re very interested in purchasing works by V. J. Cariani — please contact us if you have pieces you are considering selling.