Giancarlo Vitali is born on the 29th of November 1929 in Bellano on the Lake Como from a family of fishermen. He begins painting at the age of fifteen, after having worked for the Institute of graphic arts in Bergamo.
In 1947, he exposes his first work at the “Angelicum” in Milan, on the occasion of the Biennial Exhibition of Sacred Art.
In 1949, he comes to display two of his works at the Biennial Exhibition: “Visitazione” (Visitation) and “Cena in Emmaus” (Dinner in Emmaus), receiving enthusiastic appreciation from Carlo Carrà. He turnes down a scholarship from the Brera Academy since his family cannot afford to support him in Milan. This generates a long period of silence for Vitali “the painter”.
In 1981, his son Velasco, him too a painter, presses his father to begin the activity of engraver.
In 1983, Giovanni Testori visits Giancarlo, having seen by chance a reproduction of a quartered rabbit. A profound and solid relationship, founded on mutual esteem and admiration, stems from this encounter, which later becomes a prolonged deep-rooted friendship. The year after, Testori dedicates to the artist an article in the third page of the paper “Corriere della Sera” and afterwards organizes the first solo exhibition of the artist. Thus from that moment on he gets to exhibit in several public and private locations and releases many catalogues and engravings portfolios.
At the end of the 1980’s he realizes a few of public works, among which, the portrays of the benefactors of the Ospedale (Hospital) “Maggiore” in Milan appointed by the framework Foundation Ca’ Granda.