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Carlo De Veroli

( Carrara 1890 - Napoli 1938 )


    Carlo De Veroli

    Carlo De Veroli’s bronze was exhibited for the first time, under the title of Nude, at the Second Roman Quadrennial, in 1935, together with a bronze Bather and a Terracotta Lady’s Head. It was perhaps exhibited again in the retrospective set up at the Venice Biennale of 1940 to honor the prematurely deceased artist, an occasion that brought together four terracotta and eleven bronze sculptures (including two Nudes), unfortunately not reproduced in the catalog (see Schettini 1940) .

    It was finally presented again at the Art in the life of the South exhibition in 1953, under the title of Nude of a Woman, together with a crouching Nude also belonging to the collection of Giovanni Signorini, a member of the family of industrial owners of Cirio.

    Born in Carrara on April 30, 1890, by Michele De Veroli and Enza Dazzi, sister of that Arturo Dazzi destined to become a renowned sculptor, Carlo De Veroli enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts of Carrara during the years of the direction of Antonio Allegretti, graduating in 1908-1909. His training continued at Carlo Nicoli’s workshop, where he began to sculpt marble.

    Then, in 1911, uncle Arturo Dazzi followed in Rome, collaborating with them in the modeling of the frieze of the Altare della Patria. After having participated with no luck in the 1911 and 1914 editions of the Fabbricotti prize and the 1913 competition for the pensioner in Rome, at the outbreak of the Great War De Veroli enlisted as an artillery sergeant.

    He fought at the front for three years until he was transferred to the Naples Arsenal. He then decided to settle there, starting to frequent Vincenzo Gemito’s studio where he met the model Carolina Pelanti, marrying her after only three months in 1919. The economic difficulties he was experiencing were overcome by working for other sculptors to execute commemorative monuments dedicated to Victory.

    In 1921 De Veroli participated with three works, Head of a Young Man, Portrait of a Lady and Fragment, at the First Biennial National Art Exhibition of the City of Naples, held under the honorary presidency of Benedetto Croce and with an acceptance jury composed of sculptors of the caliber of Achille D’Orsi, Lionello Balestrieri and Giovanni Nicolini.

    Gemito, who respected him, got him his first studio in the stables of Villa Lucia al Vomero. The notoriety achieved made him invite the following year to the Venice Biennale, an exhibition in which he would participate for all the editions of the twenties, being noted above all for his valuable bronze works, nudes and portraits, cast by the famous Chiurazzi company.

    A first personal exhibition, with twenty-seven works, set up at the Municipal Villa of Naples in 1924, made him emerge definitively on the Neapolitan art scene, providing him with various commissions as a portraitist (see Picone Petrusa 2014).

    The First Campana Fascist Trade Union Exhibition, held in Naples in 1929 with the presidency of Oppo and an acceptance jury composed of Giuseppe Casciaro, Lionello Balestrieri and Saverio Gatto, dedicated a monographic room to him with ten pieces including Rest, Dream, After the bath and little girl with fruit.

    “De Veroli has ten or twelve pieces: portraits and statuettes, and this Girl with fruit exhibited at the Venice Biennale”, reported the critic Giovanni Artieri, noting that “De Veroli and De Val [the sculptor Antonio De Val, Ed.] Exhibit in the same hall: they look alike but they don’t get confused. Both modern, perhaps too soon they conquered a calm but difficult style, a little rigid in schemes “(Artieri 1929, pp. 247-248).

    The comment, of great interest, testifies to the maturation in the twentieth century sense, with a plastic strengthening and a progressive stylization of the forms, of the production of De Veroli, now ready to present itself as the accomplished interpreter of the representative needs of the fascist regime. Doesn’t the Nude of a Woman from 1935 offer a modern and twentieth-century reinterpretation of Dazzi’s Adolescent, exhibited at the same Roman Quadrennial?

    De Veroli obtained prestigious assignments from the regime, first of all, in 1929, that of eight colossal statues of athletes for the Stadio dei Marmi and one for the facade of the H-shaped building of the same Foro Mussolini in Rome. The statues, four meters high, were made of marble at the Carlo Nicoli laboratory in Carrara between 1931 and 1932.

    The commitment to the Mussolini Forum was followed by other monumental commissions, especially for Naples. Among the most important are the destroyed monument to Aurelio Padovani, founder of the Neapolitan fascist party, the sculptural decoration of the Maritime Station, the Triton fountain in Piazza Cavour and the bronze portal of the Palazzo della Provincia (1936).

    In 1938, with the racial laws, he had problems due to his Jewish origins. His death, which occurred suddenly on November 8 of that year, spared him further persecution.


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