Giuseppe Siccardi was born in Albino in 1883. Coming from a humble family of marble workers in the province of Bergamo, he soon showed a good talent for drawing and modelling from life. He then moved to Bergamo to attend the Accademia Carrara, where he was a pupil of Ponziano Loverini.
A favourite of the master, he also painted a portrait of him that is still kept at the Academy and married his daughter Antonietta. In 1900, having obtained an artistic pension, he moved to Rome to perfect his training at Ettore Ferrari’s Accademia del nudo.
Between public monuments and Art Nouveau female subjects
Returning to Lombardy in 1908, he soon established himself as a sculptor who was appreciated by both the public and the critics, especially for his public monuments: he created the statues of Law and the Right for the Palace of Justice in Bergamo. However, there are also numerous small-scale works commissioned by private clients, such as some liberty-style female subjects, characterised by an elegant and sinuous surface, as confirmed by the bronze Female nude that extends its arms upwards, as if in a graceful dance step.
Giuseppe Siccardi’s sculpture is also characterised by the choice of a formalism that derives from 19th-century Lombard sculpture, at times more linked to the vibrant scapigliato style, at times more verist, which attracted the interest of the Lombard aristocracy for portraits, children’s subjects and scenes of family intimacy.
Between the 1910s and 1920s, he took part in several local and national exhibitions, also experimenting with wax sculpture, especially for bas-reliefs of a funerary nature, in which he arrived at allegorical and symbolist notes of great impact.
Not to be forgotten is the rich graphic activity that enriched Giuseppe Siccardi’s production: drawings and sanguine with a free and loose stroke, mostly portraits that have the sensitivity to reveal the most intimate points of human nature.