(b Macerata, 15 Feb. 1904; d Arco, 9 Nov. 1933).
Italian painter. He was the son of a soldier and adopted his pseudonym (in 1927) in homage to Scipio Africanus, the Roman general who defeated Hannibal. He studied briefly (1924–5) at the Academy in Rome before being expelled with his friend Mario Mafai (1902–65), with whom he introduced a romantic Expressionist vein into Italian painting in opposition to the pomposity of much of the art that was favoured under Mussolini's Fascist government. His subjects were mainly scenes of modern Rome, painted with violent brushwork and a feeling of visionary intensity. His career was very short, virtually ending in 1931 because of the tuberculosis that killed him, but he was highly influential, becoming a symbol of heroic individuality to Italian artists after the Second World War.