Sirio Tofanari (1886-1969)
20th century, Bronze
Sirio Tofanari was a self-taught artist and is known for his skill in depicting animals. The clear, concise, and slightly nervous aspects typically noted in the sculptor’s work are due to the impossibility of making his 'models' hold their pose for long periods of time: but it is precisely this 'impressionistic' approach, combined with the elegant classicism of his forms, that makes his subjects, captured in odd moments, very lively. Tofanari attended the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence for only a year, becoming impatient with the methodical work required by the official sculpture courses; he went to Paris in 1906 and immediately afterwards to London, where he was able to give free rein to his intuition as an artist by studying and observing animals both live, in the zoo, and in the anatomical collections of the Natural History Museum in South Kensington: he thus became a master of their features and movements. After he returned to Italy, his works were exhibited at the 1908 Faenza exhibition, where the King bought one of his gazelles. From 1909 to 1936, he took part in almost all of the Venice Biennales and in 1925, he participated in the 3rd Roman Art Biennale, where a dedicated room hosted a solo exhibition of his work. He also exhibited extensively abroad.