Home - Artists - Adolfo Wildt   


Adolfo Wildt  (b Milan, 1 March 1868; d Milan, 12 March 1931)

Italian sculptor.

He was born into a poor family and in 1868 entered the studio of the sculptor Giuseppe Grandi (1843-1894). Between 1882 and 1887 Wildt learnt to work marble in the studio of Federico Villa and from 1885 to 1886 frequented the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Milan, where he made studies after the Antique and Michelangelo. In 1894 he met the German collector Franz Rose (1854-1912) and agreed that in return for an annual stipend he would assure Rose exclusive rights on the first exemplar of each of his works. Protected and isolated by this arrangement, Wildt immersed himself in his work. He became increasingly interested in symbolism and experimented with marble to produce effects of opalescent transparency such as the self-portrait Mask of Pain (1908; Florence, Uffizi). Rose's death in 1912 forced Wildt to confront the art market. He was awarded the Principe Umberto prize in 1913, and this marked the beginning of his good fortune with the Italian critics. He was backed by the journalist and critic Margherita Sarfatti and in 1925 joined the steering committee of the NOVECENTO ITALIANO, participating in its major exhibitions of 1926 and 1929, as well as abroad.