Giuseppe. – He was born in Pistoia September 28, 1834 by Gaetano
and Maddalena Marini. For the poor economic conditions of the
family he could not attend school and at the age of seven he
began working as an apprentice at some workshops where they
worked iron and copper.
From 1846 to 1849, he went to Follonica
with his father to practice workshop at the local iron foundry
where there was an experimental department of art foundry with
the guidance of technicians such as Alessandro Manetti, Raffaele
Sivieri and Carlo Reishammer, where they seize the new
opportunities of work related to the increasing use of iron and
cast iron in architecture both in building and urban design,
encouraged by the Grand Duke Leopold II.
In 1864 he went back to Pistoia to take over the workshop of
Palandri. At the death of the holder (1871) he took over the
business, transferring later in the conservatory of orphans who,
as a bequest of its promoter, the philanthropist Niccolò
Puccini, had been organized since 1865 on the basis of a series
of workshops for professional training. The link with the
Conservatory of orphans was maintained until 1907, but since
1884, the firm Michelucci and son chose to transfer most of its
business in a building near Porta Barriera, outside the city
M. had the collaboration with some promising exponents of Tuscan
architecture such as Alfredo Melani from Pistoia and Marco
Treves and Riccardo Mazzanti both from Florence. The latter in
particular, editor of “Ricordi di Architettura”, arranged to
raise awareness in the magazine some of the most significant
works carried out by the M. company, such as wrought iron
balustrade for the high altar of the cathedral of Pistoia
(1880), the structure glass and iron for the large greenhouse (tepidarium)
designed by Giacomo Roster for horticulture garden of Florence
(1880), and, in the Tuscan capital, the gate for the Orthodox
Church (1900),the entrance gate of the Ministry of War in Rome
(1886), as well as some works
commissioned by Prince Piero Strozzi at
the renovation (years 1886-89) of his famous Florentine palace.
In 1891, the M. created one of the most challenging works, the
fusion of street lamps for the monument to the Freedom of Bahia
in Brazil. Among the works of the last period is reminiscent of
the railings and large skylight of the new headquarters of the”
Cassa di Risparmio di Pistoia”, opened in July 1905 in the
presence of King Vittorio Emanuele III. In the early twentieth
century, he followed to the new trends in architecture and
applied arts, such as Art Nouveau. The opportunities in this
field were offered by the collaboration with the Florentine
architect Giovanni Michelazzi (1906-07).
He received numerous awards won at various exhibitions both in
Italy and abroad (France, Spain, USA) as well as the appointment
“Cavaliere del Lavoro” (1904).
The M. remained until the end to the guide of his firm which, at
the time of maximum expansion in the mid-nineties, had 60
employees. He could’nt retired because of untimely death in
1906 of the eldest son Bartolomeo (born in 1861) at the age of
The M. died in Pistoia on March 30, 1910.
Streetlamp on Pistoia railwaystation
“Le Officine Michelucci e l’industria artistica del ferro in Toscana
(1834-1918”), a cura di M. Dezzi Bardeschi, Pistoia 1981.
“Annali di statistica, LV (1895)”, p. 39 e in G. Chelucci,
e arti decorative a Pistoia tra eclettismo e modernità”, in
Storia di Pistoia, IV, Nell’età delle rivoluzioni 1777-1940, a
cura di G. Petracchi, Firenze 2000, pp. 669-671, 679 s., 683.
from the biography by M. Lungonelli