Portrait of Contessa Francesca Blanc

About Giacomo Manzù

At the apex of his career, sculptor Giamcomo 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.

Italian, 1908-1991, Bergamo, Italy, based in Rome, Italy