His life

The years following his conversion were not at all easy. Congdon’s extreme individualism, his latent rebellious instinct, continually hindered the further consolidation of his new faith. Only a deep personal relationship and friendship enabled Congdon to find the minimum stability necessary to live and work without giving into the self-destructive impulses so connected to his creative endeavors. In Assisi he met Paolo Mangini, a member of Pro Civitate, whose devoted and attentive friendship sustained him throughout the years to come. Mangini led Congdon to meet Don Luigi Giussani, founder of the Communion and Liberation Movement. Both men became long-term members of Don Giussani’s movement. During that period, a residential and meditation centre in Subiaco, in the abandoned monastery of Saint Lawrence, near the top of the Aniene valley, was created: Congdon used to spend there much of his summers.

From 1960 to 1965 Congdon’s existential conversion overflowed to great effect into his painting. Over these years he almost exclusively painted religious subjects, and specifically the representation of the crucifix. His decision to paint liturgical subjects brought a dramatic end to his career. The cultural circles that had previously celebrated him began to accuse him of having ‘betrayed’ art, giving himself over to the Church.

The William G. Congdon Foundation

Viale Lombardia, 10 20090 Buccinasco (MI) Italy
tel +3902 36577365 fax +3902 36577364

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