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Giacomo Manzù

Italian, 1908–1991

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Giacomo Manzù

Italian, 1908–1991

343
Followers
Biography

At the apex of his career, sculptor Giacomo Manzù adhered to three principle motifs: life-size nudes, Catholic iconography, and the painter with his model. In refining his style, he phased out terracotta and stucco, concentrating on bronze and, to a lesser extent, marble. Manzù intended the simplified human figures for which he ultimately became known to act as widely accessible symbols with allegorical meaning, a sensibility that comes through in works like his serene-faced “Cardinals” (of which he made many versions beginning in 1938), whose stylized cloak and headdress form a smooth pyramid. Likewise, his bronze relief doors Porta Della Morte (1952-64) to St. Peter’s in the Vatican received praise for balancing church demands with 20th century tastes. Besides drawing inspiration from classical sculpture, particularly work by Michelangelo, Manzú admired Aristide Maillol’s figures.

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Career Highlights
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User
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 2 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 1 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 1 more
Biography

At the apex of his career, sculptor Giacomo Manzù adhered to three principle motifs: life-size nudes, Catholic iconography, and the painter with his model. In refining his style, he phased out terracotta and stucco, concentrating on bronze and, to a lesser extent, marble. Manzù intended the simplified human figures for which he ultimately became known to act as widely accessible symbols with allegorical meaning, a sensibility that comes through in works like his serene-faced “Cardinals” (of which he made many versions beginning in 1938), whose stylized cloak and headdress form a smooth pyramid. Likewise, his bronze relief doors Porta Della Morte (1952-64) to St. Peter’s in the Vatican received praise for balancing church demands with 20th century tastes. Besides drawing inspiration from classical sculpture, particularly work by Michelangelo, Manzú admired Aristide Maillol’s figures.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
User
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 2 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 1 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 1 more