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Ximenes Ettore
(Palermo 1855 - Roma 1926)

 Italian sculptor.

He attended the Accademia di Belle Arti in Palermo (1868–71) under the guidance of the sculptor Vincenzo Ragusa (b 1841). In 1872 he moved to Naples, where he was influenced by Domenico Morelli and Stanislao Lista (1824–1908), and was also in close contact with Vincenzo Gemito. Between 1874 and 1880 he lived in Florence, supported by a grant, and became familiar with various aspects of Renaissance sculpture, which enhanced his eclectic tendency. In 1878 he travelled to Paris, where he came into close contact with the work of Rodin and Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux. On returning to Italy he began a period of extraordinary artistic productivity, and from 1885 to 1894 was Director of the Istituto Statale d’Arte in Urbino. His original training was strictly realist, and he was also influenced by the Renaissance Revival in Italian sculpture in the late 19th century. His first public works, including the monuments to Giuseppe Garibaldi in Pesaro (1887) and Milan (1895), are characterized by a strong realistic tendency, both in the handling of the material and in the rendering of the subject. At the Venice Biennale, Ximenes exhibited his plaster maquette for the bronze statue of Giuseppe Zanardelli (1905) in the Corte d’Appello, Brescia, which represents the statesman wrapped in a toga over modern clothes. The Zanardelli tomb (1906) in the Cimitero Vantiniano, Brescia, shows a more modernist tension in its composition with the bronze group of The Family set against an emphatically floral background, parts of which were in painted stucco (destr.). A similar tendency appears in the bronze group representing The Law for the monument to Victor-Emanuel II (1885–1911) in Rome. Between 1913 and 1920 Ximenes planned a large monumental group to commemorate Giuseppe Verdi in Parma, of which all that remains is one bronze plate in the Piazza Marconi. The plate shows a portrait of Verdi and an Allegory of Music and Poetry: on the reverse is the Battle of Legnano, scenes depicting Verdi’s Sicilian Vespers and Victor-Emanuel II in Parma. This work showed the influence of Rodin and such Art Nouveau artists as Leonardo Bistolfi, as well as the friezes created by Aristide Sartorio for the Palazzo di Montecitorio (1908–12) in Rome. From 1911 until his death Ximenes worked mostly on foreign commissions, for example in New York, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Kiev. Between 1919 and 1926 he worked with the architect Manfredo Manfredi (1859–1927) in São Paulo, Brazil, on the Monument to Independence. Ximenes also worked in the fields of painting and drawing, illustrating the story Il vino by Edmondo de Amicis, and Nei boschi incantati by Pìetro Petrocchi.


Monument Verdi - Parma