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Art  &  Artist



 Leonardo Bistolfi



Leonardo Bistolfi         Pages: 1

(b Casale Monferrato, 15 March 1859; d Turin, 2 Sept 1933).

Italian sculptor, painter and writer. The leading Art Nouveau sculptor in Italy, he was the son of Giovanni Bistolfi, a wood-carver. Bistolfi first studied (1876–9) at the Accademia di Brera, Milan, under Giosué Argenti (1819–1901), transferring to the Accademia Albertina, Turin, in 1880 for more advanced work under Odoardo Tabacchi. In 1881 Bistolfi received a commission for the Braida family tomb (Turin cemetery), for which he carved the marble figure the Angel of Death, a commission enabling him to open his own studio. During the 1880s Bistolfi worked mainly on small bronze groups, in which he sought to communicate sentiments that had hitherto been expressed only in painting. Like the artists of I Scapigliati, he depicted literary subjects, such as his bronze Washerwomen (Italian priv. col.), inspired by Emile Zola’s novel L’Assommoir (1877). While influenced by Impressionism and by such artists as Daniele Ranzoni, Tranquillo Cremona and Giuseppe Grandi, Bistolfi produced his Lovers (1884; Casale Monferrato, Mus. Civ.), Rain (Rome, Pal. Braschi) and Twilight (1892; Turin, Gal. Civ. A. Mod.), the last of which is characterized by a certain brutal realism. In 1888 he entered the competition for a monument to Garibaldi to be erected in Milan. Although he did not win, his model was cast in bronze by the Associazione degli Artisti Milanesi and donated to the city (Milan, Castello Sforzesco).



La Primavera Italica



The 1925 war memorial at Casale Monferrato


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