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Renato Brozzi

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Renato Brozzi

( Traversetolo 1885 - 1963 )


    Renato Brozzi

    Renato Brozzi was born in Traversetolo, in the province of Parma, in 1885. He immediately showed a remarkable propensity for art. He began working in an artistic foundry near Parma, and then attended the studio of the painter Daniele De Strobel who advised him, given his talent as a chiseller, to enrol at the Academy of Fine Arts in Parma. These were to be very important years for him, both for attending Cecrope Barilli’s courses and for getting to know Amedeo Bocchi, who was to become one of his most sincere friends.

    The art of chiselling

    His debut dates back to 1905, but in 1907 he took part in his first Venice Biennial with Donkeys, Little pig and Grazing, animalier plates that demonstrated his technical expertise in the Renaissance style.

    Before the 1910s he moved to Rome to attend the Regia Scuola d’Arte della Medaglia. In 1915 he shared his house-studio in Villa Strohl-Fern with Amedeo Bocchi, beginning a flourishing career as a chiseller, appreciated by the highest artistic and cultural circles in the capital. His objects were in great demand because of their remarkable quality, Art Nouveau accents and refined chiselling.

    At the Venice Biennale in 1912 he presented two bas-reliefs with various beasts, a silver-plated bronze sculpture of Fawns and a set of embossed fruit plates. It was the city of Venice that would bring him closer to Gabriele D’Annunzio, with whom he would be artistically and personally linked for many years.

    Animalier subjects

    D’Annunzio commissioned a large number of small, elegant objects for the Vittoriale collection, including ashtrays, cups, small, fine ornamental animals, pins and chiselled and embossed services. He took part in the 1920 Biennale Boars, Sheep and Deer, while in 1921 he exhibited in a group show at the Galleria Pesaro in Milan, together with Amedeo Bocchi and Nicola D’Antino.

    Among the one hundred and two works exhibited were studies of animals, Silver-plated pheasant, Running goats, Listening geese, Lambs, Chicks, Bracelets with gazelles, embossed medals and the Sword of Honour offered to General Diaz by the city of Venice. He continued to exhibit at the Venice Biennials until 1932 a series of minute animalier works, objects, plaques and sculptures including Cat with Kittens, Bridesmaids, Motherhood and Attitudes of Two Cats. Brozzi also created several public monuments during the Fascist years, such as the statuette with the Victory of Grain or the Angular Victory for his home town. A personal exhibition was dedicated to him on the occasion of the great exhibition of animals in art held in Rome in 1930. He took part in the Quadriennale di Roma in 1935 with Zebra assailed by a lion, Little Kittens and The Prey, three drawings that represent Brozzi’s great descriptive power. He continued to chisel throughout the 1940s and 1950s. He died in Traversetolo in 1963.

    Elena Lago


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