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Arturo Martini

leading Italian sculptor of the period between the World Wars, whose figurative works encompass a wide variety of styles and materials.

Martini was trained in goldsmithing and in ceramics and worked for a time as a potter. In 1905 he began sculpting and studied the nude at classes in Treviso, Venice, and Munich. He first exhibited his works in Paris in 1912. During World War I he served in the Italian Army. In 1931 he won the grand prize for sculpture at the first Quadriennale in Rome.

Martini's works range from delicate terra-cottas (e.g., "Moonlight," 1932) to dramatic figures in stone ("Thirst," 1934). He was particularly adept at conveying the tension and movement of physical activity (e.g., "Girl Swimming Under Water," 1941). His high relief of "Corporate Justice" (1937) is perhaps the pinnacle of his achievement. La scultura, lingua morta (1945; "Sculpture: A Dead Language") provides an autobiographical account of his career.

b. Aug. 11, 1889, Treviso, Italy


d. March 22, 1947, Milan