Emilio Greco (1913-1995)

Emilio Greco was an Italian sculptor and printmaker, well known for his works of Classical inspiration. He was born in Cantania, Sicily in 1913. At the age of 10 Greco began work in a marble-cutter's workshop. He first discovered sculpture as a youth, in the archaeological museums of Syracuse and Palermo and became interested in Etruscan sculpture and Roman portraiture. He was later influenced by Francesco Laurana's bust of Eleanor of Aragon, by the works of Antonello and Domenico Gagini, Giacomo Serpotta and 15th-century Mannerists. In 1933 he was in Rome, where he made the acquaintance of Renato Guttuso, Leoncillo Leonardi (1915-68) and Marino Mazzacurati (b 1907).
Greco had his first one-man exhibition in Rome at the Galleria Il Cortile in 1946. Greco also worked as a Professor of Sculpture at the Liceo Artistico in Rome and taught at academies in Monaco and Salzburg. In 1956, Greco won the sculpture prize at the Venice Biennale. He also created important monumental works that include the bronze doors for the Orvieto Cathedral and a monument to Pope John XXIII for St. Peter's in the Vatican.
Greco was predominantly the sculptor of female nudes and portrait busts. He represented the grace, delight, beauty, and power of womanhood. Youth fascinated Greco, the fast fading blossom and its nostalgia, the symbol of life stretching out as an unfulfilled dream before us. Greco's sculptures are not only sensual and elegant. They have a feeling of beauty and a natural sense of form and volume.
Greco's works are part of the permanent collections of many principal museums of the world including: the National Gallery of Modern Art, Rome; the Plein Air Museum of Sculpture, Paris; the International Gallery of Contemporary Art, Venice; Neue Pinanothek, Monaco, and the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia.

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