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Rubino Edoardo  ( Torino 1871- 1954 )

Italian sculptor

Originating from a humble family, while still very young Rubino entered the atelier of Leonardo Bistolfi, a sculptor to whom he remained bound professionally, artistically and personally.
Rubino thus approached art by practicing drawing applied to industry, that is a sort of high level craftsmanship (placchettes, medals, etc.) which received constant approval in the cultural debate in the former Savoy capital. At the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries in fact, Turin was a truly stimulating hot bed of industrial and decorative ideas that, only every now and then, was considered by its exponents as supporting a precise ideological train of thought.
A pupil of Odoardo Tabacchi and Luigi Belli at the Albertine Academy, from 1891 Rubino continuously showed his work in the collective exhibitions held in the halls of the Society for the Promotion of Fine Arts which, in 1896, purchased his first work, the half figure in bronze called "Biondina".
From the 1920s his excellent professional relations and friendship with the painter Giacomo Grosso and the sculptor Davide Calandra, introduced Rubino amongst the guests at one of the most important middle class salons in Turin, permitting him to gain success as a fashionable portraitist for the conservative high society. These contacts, together naturally with his artistic qualities as a sculptor, guaranteed a series of major commissions for Rubino, from the bas-reliefs dedicated to Queen Margherita and King Umberto I at the Hospital of St Maurice and St Lazarus, to sculptures for the chapel belonging to the Agnelli family at Villar Perosa (TO); the President of Fiat, Agnelli, also commissioned him to sculpt the monumental bronze "Victory!" for the beacon erected in memory of the soldiers who had fallen during World War I on the Colle della Maddalena and, not least, the monument to Vittorio Emanuele II in Rome.
Linked to the stylistic elements of the poetics of international symbolist art, his sculptures, far from naturalism, are characterised by decorative motifs representing the merging of sensorial perceptions with spiritual elements. While part of this artistic current, Rubino did not show any ideological interest in actively taking part with his colleagues in theoretical movements of the time. Unlike Leonardo Bistolfi, in fact, he did not associate with the members of the Milanese Scapigliatura movement and neither did he share with other Turin sculptors the positivistic and spiritualistic curiosity cultivated at Lombroso’s home. His interest was more inclined towards supporting the aesthetic principles of art for use by and the education of the lower classes, like Calandra, following a more poetic line both in tackling heroic and celebratory themes and in the subtlety of his portraits.

( From Comune Torino )