Giovanni Agnelli Snr (1866 – 1945) Italian Industrialist who founded FIAT. Official portrait on paper, signed on the border, measuring approximately 19.5 x 24.5cm. The item has damage, refer to images however exceptionally rare. The portrait is from Turin 18th June 1934. On July 1, 1899 he was part of the group of founding members of the Fabbrica Italiana di Automobili Torino, which became Fiat; he paid $400 for his share in 1899, worth billions today. One year later he was the managing director of the new company and became the chairman in 1920. The first Fiat plant opened in 1900 with 35 staff making 24 cars. Known from the beginning for the talent and creativity of its engineering staff; by 1903 Fiat made a small profit and produced 135 cars; this grew to 1,149 cars by 1906. The company then went public selling shares via the Milan stock exchange. Agnelli began purchasing all the shares he could adding to his holding, overcoming scandals and labour problems. After World War I the company jumped from 30th to third place among Italian industrial companies. The first Ford factory was opened four years after Fiat was founded and Agnelli visited several times and adopted various practices he observed. He was appointed a Senator in 1923, and filled several other prestigious positions between the two wars. However Agnelli remained focused and propelled Fiat to the international arena. He was still active with FIAT at the start of the Second World War, but died soon after it ended in 1945 at age 79.