Alimondo Ciampi was born in 1876 in San Mauro a Signa, near Florence, into a family of farmers. His destiny was therefore sealed and he began working in the fields with his parents, but at the same time developed a strong interest in drawing and often stayed to look at the sculptures in the local parish.
At the beginning of the 1990s, wishing to devote himself to sculpture, he moved to Florence and found work in the Fiaschi marble workshop. Florence offered him a persistent spectacle: between the museums and the niches of Orsanmichele, he continually found inspiration for his first sculptures made as a marble worker in the workshop.
Formal balance and spiritual inspiration
Sensitive to the pure and balanced modelling of 15th-century Tuscany, Alimondo Ciampi combined these suggestions with the delicate symbolist harmony of the early 20th century. The authentic essentiality of the forms is united with a feeling for human drama, in an attentive adherence to reality, especially in the subtle psychological rendering of the figures represented.
He made his debut at the 1903 Florentine Exhibition with a Portrait, the same year in which he enrolled in the Free School of the Nude, which enabled him to put his sculptural skills to the test. The compositional harmony that emerges from the light-sensitive bodies can also be seen in the naturalistic poses and in the firm adherence to reality, in the telling of the intimate patterns of the human soul.
In 1904 he exhibited the plaster works Problem and Solution, Self-Portrait and From Morning to Evening. These early twentieth-century exhibitions inaugurated a flourishing exhibition activity, not only in Florence, where he exhibited regularly until 1908, but also at the Venice Biennale, where he participated from 1909 onwards with a Self-portrait.
Graceful or tormented figures, delicate feminine or childish faces, delicate bodies of mythical figures (such as Siren and Narcissus in 1907) studded his sculptural production until the 1930s, when he was still distinguished by his gentle execution and spontaneous rendering of the most varied subjects.
Between Truth and Feeling
Among Alimondo Ciampi’s most significant works are Milk and Blood!, The Lost Road and Wounded Foot, the latter exhibited at the 1911 International Exhibition in Rome. Sculptures in which adherence to reality is united with the emotion of anguish and disturbance that derive from the events of life that animate his characters and make this sculptor a refined interpreter of truth combined with feeling.
At the 1913 Roman Secession he exhibited Fragment, at the 1914 Secession Portrait and at the Biennale of the same year he exhibited Madre! After the First World War, he devoted himself to the execution of some funerary monuments, characterised by his usual introspective intensity.
In 1920 he was again at the Biennale with Giotto and returned in 1922 with First sin and in 1924 with Little bather and Family of rabbits. His career was crowned by the exhibition at the Pesaro Gallery in 1928, where he exhibited twenty-nine sculptures, including Evening Prayer, Alms, Towards Mother, The Nest, Graziella, Remembrances, Abandoned, Ofelia, Bather, Good News and Melancholy. Active until the end, he died in Florence in 1938.