Mattia Jona, Master Drawings and Prints, Japanese Prints - Piazzetta Guastalla 5, 20122 Milan, Italy, tel (+39) 02 8053315

Romano Romanelli, testa di arabo


Aquatint, apparentely unrecorded. Signed (?) Romanelli in pen and black ink. Stamped on the verso Acquatinta Numerata / Serie 27 N. 14 and inscribed Romanelli in pencil. At the top of the verso titled, very lightly, in red chalk, Testa di Arabo. Printed on thick and strong wove. To the platemark 228 x 159 mm; the full sheet measuring 495 x 350 mm. Full margins, in very good condition.
Heads of Arabs in profile, quite similar to the head depicted in this print, appear in the Monumento ai Caduti in Africa, executed by Romanelli in 1938.

Romano Romanelli was an Italian artist, writer and naval officer. Florentine, he was, on his mother’s side, a descendant of Francesco Ferrucci. On his father’s side he was the son and grandson of renowned sculptors. His grandfather Pasquale had been a collaborator of Lorenzo Bartolini, his father was the acclaimed Raffaello Romanelli, a talented sculptor and a decorated Naval officer in the Italian Navy. As a boy under the guidance of his father, Romano showed an aptitude for sculpting, and it seemed that he would follow the family tradition. But Romano first found a career in the Italian Navy. After studying Mathematics at Pisa University, he attended the Italian Naval Academy at Livorno. As a cadet and junior officer he was in service until 1910, when he left for medical reasons and began to work as a sculptor. He was recalled for the Italo-Turkish War in 1911-12, and once again in 1914 at the outbreak of World War I. During his leaves from naval service Romano found time to develop his sculpting skills. He also attended the best contemporary Italian sculptors: initially Giuseppe Renda from Naples and later Domenico Trentacoste. Another key influence in the formation of his style was Vincenzo Gemito, whose studio in Naples he visited several times. In 1910-1911 a stay in Paris put him in touch with the French Avant-Garde movement and, after the First World War, Romano dedicated himself wholeheartedly to a career in sculpture. Romanelli was a prominent artist during the fascist regime of Benito Mussolini. His Pugile in Combattimento (The Fighting Boxer, 1926) bought by Minister Augusto Turati for the Foro Italico stadium in Rome and shown at the Mostra del Novecento in 1929 bears witness to Romano’s style of the post war period. In the 1930s Romanelli had many prestigious public commissions. La Giustizia di Traiano (The Justice of Trajan 1933–34) is perhaps Romano’s most significant commission for the regime. It was produced in white marble for the Palazzo di Giustizia, the law court in Milan, where it is still today. Following the signing of Pact of Steel between the Kingdom of Italy and Germany on May 22, 1939, Romanelli became publicly extremely critical of the regime. He was then pursued by the regime which issued an arrest warrant for him and he went into hiding. In the mean time, his wife Dorothea hid and gave refuge in a secret space below the roof of their family home in Florence to a number of Jews and other personalities pursued by the regime. After the war he was nominated Professor of Sculpture at the Italian Academy of Fine Arts, Florence and held the chair for sculpture until 1953.

price: 570,00 euros

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