Alessandro Mastro-Valerio immigrated to America from Southern Italy in 1913 after studying art in Naples. He initially settled in Chicago. A prolific artist, mainly known for his mastery of the mezzotint, he created and printed at least 159 plates throughout his career. His nudes are striking, with a pearlescent quality to the skin, luminous against the classic velvety darkness the mezzotint process creates. In 1919, he moved to Ypsilanti, Michigan, where he taught at Eastern Michigan University and enjoyed the support of wealthy patrons. In 1949, he began to experiment with abstraction. A member of the Ann Arbor Art Associates, the Chicago Society of Etchers, and the Society of Design (Associate 1951), he retired from teaching at the University of Michigan in 1952 and passed the following year.