Manzu, Giacomo

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Manzu, Giacomo Gender: M
Manzoni , Giacomo
born on 22 December 1908 at 09:00 (= 09:00 AM )
Place Bergamo, Italy, 45n41, 9e43
Timezone MET h1e (is standard time)
Data source
Quoted BC/BR
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Bordoni
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_capcol.18.gif 00°06' s_mo.18.gif s_sagcol.18.gif 15°11 Asc.s_capcol.18.gif 13°35'

Giacomo Manzu


Italian sculptor who revived the ancient tradition of creating sculptural bronze doors for ecclesiastical buildings in the mid-20th century. Ciacomo's sober realism and extremely delicate modeling alternately achieved austere severity and sensuousness of form and surface, lending a new spirit of vitality to figurative bronze sculpture.

From a poor family, Manzu left school at an early age to learn a trade, becoming an apprentice to local craftsmen who taught him to carve wood and to work in metal and stone. After service in the Italian army, 1927-28, he went to Paris to live as an artist but with no money or work, collapsed from hunger and was deported back to Italy within three weeks.

Establishing himself as a sculptor took difficult years of poverty. Trying various themes, he was drawn to representative forms of the familiar figures of his culture, Roman Catholic cardinals, of which he ultimately produced for than 50 seated or standing figures. His work with female nudes was notably gentle. Though he usually made only one cast of each work, he often composed different sizes and postures of a favorite.

Prior to WW II, some of Manzu’s works were accused of having antifascist connotations, however by 1940, his reputation was sufficiently well established for him to be appointed professor of sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Milan, where he taught until 1954. His most noteworthy work of the war years was "Francesca," a seated nude that won the Grand Prix of the Rome Quadriennale in 1942. In 1948 the artist was awarded the first prize for Italian sculpture at the Venice Biennale.

Two years later he was commissioned to create a set of monumental bronze doors for St. Peter's in Rome; the portal was dedicated in 1964, after the death of Pope John XXIII, whose official portrait Manzù had executed. Among his other commissions were doors for Salzburg Cathedral, 1958, the Church of Sankt-Laurents in Rotterdam, 1969, and a relief of a "Mother and Child"

1965, for Rockefeller Center in New York City.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • Work : New Job 1927 (Italian Army, one year)
  • Work : New Career 1940 at 12:00 midnight in Milan, Italy (Professor at Academy of Fine Arts in Milan, 14 years)
  • Work : Prize 1942 (Grand Prix of the Rome Quadriennale)
  • Work : Prize 1948 (Prize for Italian Sculpture)
  • Work : Gain social status 1958 (Built doors for Salzburg Cathedral)
  • Work : Gain social status 1964 (Built bronze doors for St Peters)
  • Work : Gain social status 1965 (Sculpture "Mother and Child")
  • Work : Gain social status 1969 (Built doors for Church of Sankt-Laurents in Rotterdam)

Source Notes

Bordoni quotes B.C. Vol 1


  • Family : Childhood : Disadvantaged (Poor family)
  • Vocation : Art : Fine art artist (Sculptor)
  • Vocation : Education : Teacher (Art professor)
  • Vocation : Military : Military service (Italian Army)