Descended from a long line of diplomats and by family tradition dedicated to this career, Lepri was the Italian Consul in Monaco and Brussels before resigning in 1942 to devote himself exclusively to Painting. His first exhibition, in 1946 at the Galleria La Finestrina in Rome, proved that he belonged to the fringe of surrealism, like Léonor Fini, whom he greatly admired. Lepri created amazing effects by assembling figures, nude or in period costume, in a closed or deserted space (The Banquet, 1945, Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Red Beach, 1964), implying impossible human relations or apocalyptic threats. He fully exploited the dramatic effects of the baroque to imagine a tree figure with rootlike hands, children suckled by a giant cat, a human pyramid, the raft of La Méduse run aground in the countryside or an investiture. Sometimes his inspiration took a macabre turn, evoking a meditating youth surrounded by skeletons, a man rising from his grave, death's-head harlequins, fighting horsemen and haunted abysses. He made the sets for numerous ballets, including L'Œuf à la Coque for Roland Petit and the Ballets de Paris at the Théâtre Marigny (1949), and Stravinsky's Apollo Musagetes for the Opera of West Berlin (1958). He also illustrated Le Voyage aux États de la Lune by Cyrano de Bergerac for the Société Normande des Amis du Livre. His paintings can be found in modern art museums in Paris, New York, Rome and Lodz, Poland.
Born 1905 in Rome; died 1980 in Paris.