OTTAVIANO was born in Vichy in 1924. His father is Sicilian , his mother French. He studied at the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs and the Beaux Arts, but began to paint only when he left them, around 1947 . His first paintings;of emaciated women in desperately barren rooms;are evocative of Gruherand bear the mark of his life, a difficult one, and of his dominant mood,melancholy. Lurking in the background, is the danger of sentimental expressionism. Ottaviano avoids it bj turning fully to objective reality: the stones of Paris, the hills of Auvergne, desolate beaches, two fish on a table.