Mario Russo was born in 1925 in Naples. He undertook his art studies at the Istituto d’Arte di Napoli, graduating in 1948. During his formative years he focused his attention on the mimetic representation of the human figure, departing completely from the new abstract trends.
In the early 1950s he moved to Rome, in the Trastevere district, where he began collaborating with several galleries, gaining recognition from national critics. Between the 1950s and 1970s he undertook several sojourns abroad (Paris, London, Munich and New York) that coincided with important exhibition opportunities and that consolidated his artistic talent at an international level.
In the 1970s, the main themes of his works were the sense of beauty and sensuality that only the female body is capable of conveying; women thus became the protagonists of his canvases. Whereas in the 1980s he composed a series of paintings of Hellenic sculptures inspired by the Riace Bronzes. In 1989 Porto Cervo hosted an exhibition of his works dedicated to Sardinia, a region he fell in love with to the point of spending long stays there every year. In his last period of his activity he created a series of canvases depicting the Gulf War, permeated with strong drama and tension. His works have been exhibited in various national and international contexts.
He died in Rome in 2000.