To look is one thing. To see what you look at is another. To understand is a third. To learn from what you understand is still something else. But to ACT on what you understand and learn is all that really matters. —CB






Cesare Borgia was a true Renaissance man, a dynamic artist and passionate teacher. At age six, his father, Domenico, taught him violin. He studied further with Joseph Fuchs, a teacher at Julliard. Cesare was a professional concert violinist and conductor and performed for more than forty-five years with his wife, Marjorie, an accomplished cellist. They played with many orchestras, including the Boston Pops Symphony Orchestra, as well as with Arturo Toscanini. But his love for the visual arts drew him to the late Frank J. Reilly at The Arts Students League in the 1950’s where he began an intense seven year program of painting and drawing. Mr. Reilly was the foremost instructor of realism in the country. and his teaching was grounded in classical realism and the principles of the Old Masters. In 1973 Cesare opened the Cesare Borgia Art School in White Plains, NY. The school was renamed The Reilly League of Artists in 1976 in honor of his former teacher.

Cesare was awarded the prestigious Teacher Achievement Award in Oils from the American Artist Magazine, June 1993. It is awarded annually to recognize the teacher whose professional accomplishments and quality of artwork and teaching is judged to be of the highest standards. Click here and read student testimonials for this award for his passionate dedication.

For twenty-five years, Cesare tutored many aspiring students as successful illustrators and portrait artists. Four were awarded the coveted Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Memorial Grant, two accepted into exclusive university medical illustration programs, with many becoming fine teachers in their own right. As a tireless mentor to his students, Cesare taught the importance of a daily artistic discipline. His favorite quotes, To paint is to live and To do is to be, kept the energy high in the studio classes. Humble and giving, his only payment was the pride of his students’ success.