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Ivan C. Root, classical artist, portrait painter
March 6, 1924 -- Jan. 24, 2006

A private service for Ivan C. Root, a classical artist and portrait painter, was held Jan. 25 in Buffalo.

The city resident died Jan. 24 in Veterans Affairs Medical Center after a brief illness. He was 81.

Born in Buffalo, he studied architecture and classical drawing with his uncle, a well-known architect.

At age 22, after serving in the Army during World War II, he left home to study art at the Julian Academy and the Louvre in Paris.

He became the first American in more than 50 years accepted by London's Royal Academy of the Arts, where he won awards for his drawings and paintings. He went on to study and work in Rome and Florence, where he met Umberta Rindi, who became his model and wife.

Mr. Root spent more than a half century in Italy emulating Renaissance masters, particularly Raphael. He was also influenced by the work of Holbein.

During his career, he painted 26 commissioned portraits, worked on altar pieces and art restoration projects and created other drawings and paintings. His "La Fiorentina," which depicted his wife, was praised as "a modern Mona Lisa" by critics in Florence.

His wife survives him.


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