As a teenager, he worked for a funeral home maker in his city, and became an almost self-taught sculptor. He has lived in Rome since 1943, and becomes the holder of the chair of sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples.
In its synthetic language and subtly allusive the female figure – in particular the nude – plays a very important part. References to the volumetric synthesis of Etruscan art merge with those of the Italian fifteenth century sculpture (Laurana in particular), grafting naturally into a rigorous compositional discipline and refined formal elegance, both in subjects of vigorous realism and in surreal subjects and fairytale.
Surfaces are very sensitive to atmospheric and luministic values: they are particularly significant in this regard the drawings, with clear volumes, structured thanks to a few decisive and essential signs.
An attentive portrait painter, his favorite theme is female heads. Academician of San Luca and member of the Belgian Royal Academy, he received, among others, the Saint-Vincent Prize for sculpture (1948), the Parliament Prize at the VI Roman Quadrennial (1952), the Antonio Feltrinelli Award for graphics from the National Academy of the Lincei (1993).
There are three museums named after him, in Sabaudia (1984), in Orvieto (1991) and in Catania (1994, dedicated in particular to graphics), and permanent exhibition spaces for his works at the Hakone open-air museum in Japan and at the ‘Hermitage of St. Petersburg.
Also a writer and poet, he published, among other things, Appunti di una vita (1980); and The doors of the Cathedral of Orvieto (1994).
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