Pietro Canonica – brilliant Italian artist
Pietro Canonica (March 1, 1869 – June 8, 1959) – the famous Italian sculptor of the late XIX – first half of the XX centuries, an outstanding master of realism. He was known for creating monumental monuments.
Pietro Canonica was a very versatile creative person. In addition to the visual arts, for many years he was fond of music, composed a number of operas, symphonic poems and tragedies. In addition, the great Italian devoted a significant part of his career to teaching.
Biography of Pietro Canonica
Pietro Canonica was born on March 1, 1869 in the small town of Moncalieri near Turin. The boy showed a talent for drawing very early. Already at the age of twelve, he was accepted to study at the prestigious Albertina Academy of Arts. Under the guidance of Professor Odoardo Tabacchi, Pietro quickly achieved notable academic success and became one of the best students.
Canonika began his professional career as a sculptor very early, at the age of fifteen he was already working as an assistant to the tombstone maker, creating figurines of angels. And in 1886, Pietro opened his own studio and completed the first independent orders for one of the Turin churches. At the same time, the works of the young artist were first presented to the public at the exhibition. One of the statues was even purchased by the Italian king Umberto I.
Even while studying at the Academy, Pietro made several educational trips around the country. By the age of 20, the young sculptor had gained immense popularity in Turin. In the following decade, he created dozens of tombstones, reliefs and statues, as well as a number of monumental monuments in the ancient capital of Piedmont.
In 1892, he was included in the commission for the best design of the monument to King Victor Emmanuel II. And the very next year, Pietro Canonica was first invited to an international exhibition in Paris. By the beginning of the 20th century, the young sculptor had gained great fame throughout Europe.
In 1910, Pietro Canonica moved permanently to Venice, where he was offered the chair of sculpture at the local academy of arts. For twelve years he taught students in the homeland of Titian and Tintoretto, after which he moved to Rome.
In the Italian capital, Canonica also received an appointment as head of the department at the academy. He devoted more than 40 years of his life to teaching at this university. And from the mid-1920s, the authoritative master began to receive orders from very distant countries for the construction of grandiose monuments.
Between the two world wars, the Italian sculptor created a number of outstanding works outside the homeland, including monuments:
- Mustafa Ataturk in Turkey;
- King Faisal I of Iraq;
- Simon Bolívar in Colombia;
- Ismail Pasha in Egypt.
He was married twice and had no children. In 1937, Pietro entered into an unusual agreement with the municipality of Rome. In exchange for a lifetime lease on an old abandoned 16th-century mansion in the Villa Borghese area, he bequeathed all the work after his death to the city. The artist at his own expense made a major overhaul of the ancient architectural structure. He built his own workshop in it and lived the rest of his life in this house. And today in the old building there is a memorial museum of the famous sculptor.
Pietro Canonica died on June 8, 1959 at the age of 90 and was buried with great honors in the central cemetery of the Italian capital.