Ermenegildo Luppi studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Modena, with Giuseppe Gibellini, but in 1900, thanks to the pensioner, he managed to move to Rome to follow Ettore Ferrari’s courses at the Accademia di Belle Arti. From the earliest sculptures, he it interprets a verism with great dramatic force. Between 1906 and 1907 he went to Florence and studied Donatello closely, acquiring some fundamental characteristics such as the dry and sincere modeling, the emotional intensity and the strong communicative charge.
The balance of fifteenth-century sculpture is now part of his production. When he returns to Rome he dedicates himself to small sculptures that he presents at the exhibitions, as well as to monumental works of public commission. He alternates with this more serious production dedicated to religious or social themes, a more worldly and light-toned production, with themes drawn from everyday life.
He made his debut in 1909 at the Rimini Fine Arts Exhibition with A victim , while at the Roman Secession in 1913 he presented Visions from the past and Friends . It oscillates between an accurate realism and a strong attention to the pathetic rendering of its groups, as happens for Cucciotti , Capra and Senza Sole , presented at the exhibition secessionist from 1914. In 1915 he presented Self-portrait and in 1916 Sunset and Boxer . The critical success came immediately, thanks to his sculptures in plaster, wax or bronze which also draw inspiration from the dramatic symbolism of Leonardo Bistolfi.
At the 1920 Venice Biennale he exhibited Testa di cristo and Anime sole , intense sculptures full of pathos, once again characterized by that austere solidity of the Tuscan fifteenth century that makes them proud but at the same time melancholic. In the 1920s he also made funeral sculpture with the Pietà , for the cemetery of Francavilla al Mare.
Angoscia appears at the 1922 Biennale. It is a sculpture whose figures are desperate in their rigid and vertical form, recalling an anguished and strong symbolism. San Giovanni and Christ instead are exhibited at the Roman Quadrennial of 1935, bringing back all the intensity of Donatelli’s sculpture.
As for public works, it interprets a less personal and more official language, fully related to the climate of return to order. He creates the sculptures for the pediment of the Ministry of Transport in Porta Pia and two bas-reliefs celebrating Mussolini for the Foggia Town Hall.
He teaches at the Liceo Artistico Industriale in Rome after being named Academic of Merit in 1924. He dies in Rome in 1937.