Antonio Ximenes, Sicilian sculptor, born in Palermo in 1829. This brilliant artist began his career at 42. The profession was that of a drawing calligrapher.
Often going to the University where his son Ettore studied sculpture, under the direction of prof. Nunzio Morello, he had the ease of formulating, so casually and between one chat and another, a new aesthetic of art, and those young artists, who said so much and did so much until they induced him to translate into some practical example his precepts; and in a very short time Ximenes modeled a head which he placed inside a basin, baptizing it for that of “San Giovanni Battista decollato”.
The professor. Lo Forte was so surprised and admired that he wanted it to remain exhibited in one of the painting rooms, judging it to be “stupendously executed”. This first triumph aroused the jealousy of many sculptors.
This was enough for the Ximenes to continue in the new arringo, and working only at night, since the day was busy earning his bread, he modeled an “Odalisque” and then a “Prometheus” which was part of the only two works indicated by the Royal Commission worthy to be sent by the city of Palermo to the World Exhibition of 1873 in Vienna.
It is easier to imagine than to describe how the envies remained, sculptors of scream and skilled in art, in seeing a work by Ximenes assumed to such high honor for only two years as a sculptor. For such beautiful work His Majesty the King bestowed on him the title of knight of the Crown of Italy.
Among the works of this artist, in addition to those mentioned, we will mention: “La Nebulosa”; “Putiphar’s wife”; “A tribute to Vincenzo Bellini”, purchased by Count Tasca, and the famous “Shield” of General Garibaldi, which can be admired in Rome in the Capitoline Museum.