Fausto Bellino Tasca

Los Angeles, California

Citizen's National Trust & Savings In 1920–1921, Fausto received the important commission to decorate most of the interior of the Citizen’s National Trust and Savings at 736 Hill Street in Los Angeles. Another local artist, Hernando Gonzallo Villa, also worked on this project. Villa's contribution was a lovely mural for the west wall of the bank.

Citizen's National Trust & Savings interior, -Kopek Photography, 1920, -Archive of the Tasca Estate

Citizen's National Trust & Savings interior
Kopek Photography, 1920
Archive of the Tasca Estate

Fausto’s design for the bank interior was based on a history of the west written by O.E. Monnette, California Chronology. This commission included a series of thirteen narrative murals and two large ceiling medallions, “Allegory of Industry” and “Triumph of California.”

Allegory of Industry, 1920, -As installed Citizen's National Trust, -Photographer unknown, -Archive of the Tasca Estate

Allegory of Industry, 1920
As installed Citizen's National Trust
Photographer unknown
Archive of the Tasca Estate

Allegory of Industry, -Photograph Sandra Tasca, 2021, -Collection of the Tasca Estate

Allegory of Industry
Photograph Sandra Tasca, 2021
Collection of the Tasca Estate

The Triumph of California, 1920, -As installed at Citizen's National Trust, -Photographer unknown, -Archive of the Tasca Estate

The Triumph of California, 1920
As installed at Citizen's National Trust
Photographer unknown
Archive of the Tasca Estate

All the paintings for this commission were created on canvas and attached to the walls of the bank interior using special glue. The narrative murals follow the story of California history, and include Drake’s Landing, Spanish settlers, a Prospector, Cowboys, as well as a California Indian scout. Fausto carefully researched the appearance of each of his subjects, and did his best to portray each with respect and realism.

Prospector, 1920, -As installed at Citizen's National Trust, -Photographer unknown, -Archive of the Tasca Estate

Prospector, 1920
As installed at Citizen's National Trust
Photographer unknown
Archive of the Tasca Estate

Spanish Settlers, 1920, -As installed at Citizen's National Trust, -Photographer unknown, -Archive of the Tasca Estate

Spanish Settlers, 1920
As installed at Citizen's National Trust
Photographer unknown
Archive of the Tasca Estate

In the mid-1970’s this extraordinary bank was demolished to make way for a parking lot. By chance, an art lover knew of Fausto’s method of applying his painting to the walls, stepped in to rescue the paintings. All the works were kept in storage until 2018, when a descendent of the developer who razed the bank contacted the painter’s granddaughter. The two families negotiated, and the paintings were recovered by the Tasca family. The Tasca family is now negotiating with museums in California to restore and display these beautiful works.

Farmers and Merchants Bank Although the Redondo Beach branch of the Farmers and Merchants Bank still stands at the location indicated by 1915 photographs, the bank building no longer exists. Photographs of the current Farmers and Merchants Bank located at 1333 Pacific Coast Highway is slick and modern, and gives no indication of the bank’s origins or history. Sadly, the mural by Fausto Tasca has also disappeared.

"The Discovery of Our Great California", -A mural for Farmers and Merchants National Bank, Redondo Beach, -From the Los Angeles Times, September 3, 1922, -Photo, Archive of the Tasca Estate

"The Discovery of Our Great California"
A mural for Farmers and Merchants National Bank, Redondo Beach
From the Los Angeles Times, September 3, 1922
Photo, Archive of the Tasca Estate

"The Discovery of Our Great California", finished mural, -Photographer unknown, -Photo, Archive of the Tasca Estate

"The Discovery of Our Great California", finished mural
Photographer unknown
Photo, Archive of the Tasca Estate

Cabrini Chapel Fausto Tasca designed the interior spaces for the chapel at Villa Cabrini. In the 1950’s the chapel near Duarte, California was razed, and the property sold. The only traces of Fausto’s paintings for the chapel are the watercolor sketches shown below

St. Agatha, Cabrini Chapel, -Watercolor sketch, -Archive of the Tasca Estate

St. Agatha, Cabrini Chapel
Watercolor sketch
Archive of the Tasca Estate

Main altar, Cabrini Chapel, -Watercolor sketch, -Archive of the Tasca Estate

Main altar, Cabrini Chapel
Watercolor sketch
Archive of the Tasca Estate

Other Los Angeles Commissions Fausto worked in Southern California from about 1920 until his death in 1937. During those years he worked on different kinds of projects, from those he completed for arts organizations as well as projects for libraries and banks.

International Artists' Club, -Archive of the Tasca Estate

International Artists' Club
Archive of the Tasca Estate

Redondo Beach Public Library, stained glass window, -Photographer unknown, -Archive of the Tasca Estate

Redondo Beach Public Library, stained glass window
Photographer unknown
Archive of the Tasca Estate