Franco d'Aspro (1911-1995)
Archer Bronze. Signed on plaque. Height: 50.5 cm (approx 20 in.)
A Giacometti inspired bronze Figure of an Archer mounted on a Wooden Plinth. Fair Condition for its age but bow parts missing in places. Unique piece.
LITERATURE: "Futurism in Sardinia" M. Maritano 1990; "Franco d'Aspro, Scultore" Vittorio Sgarbi, 1993; G. Murtas "Franco d'Aspro - Master of the Arts and Venerable Master of The Grand Lodge", 2005.
Franco d'Aspro (1911-1995) was born in Piedmont, Italy. Studied in Bologna and in Napoli. He excelled early in life in the study of arts and music, becoming an accomplished violinist. Visited Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966) in Paris in 1929 and befriended his younger brother Diego.
In 1938 he exhibited at The Palladino Gallery at Cagliari in Sardinia and fell in love with the extreme ragged beauty of the area. In 1939 he opened a bronze forge in Villamassargia and an art school where he apprenticed many local young students.
During the years 1939-1945 he begun to achieve recognition as a bronze sculptor and run his studio as a great outdoor art gallery that brought together Sardinian and artists of the Peninsula, present in Cagliari during the Second World War. In his unique gallery there was a variety of styles, from neoclassicism, realism to symbolism, whilst the ancient local heritage, especially the nuraghe structures (the Sardinian ancient megalithic edifices likely developed during the Nuragic Age between 1900-730 BC) remained a constant source of inspiration. In this early work, the influence and style of Giacometti is also visible.
After the War, he transferred his studio and the bronze production from Villamassargia to Elmas.
By the 1970s his monumental bronze structures were commissioned throughout Italy. Two very notable examples were 'Ship at the Mercy of the Winds with the arms of Mercy' and 'Our Lady of Bonaria' erected on the occasion of the visit of Pope Paul VI to Cagliari on 24 April 1970. Important commissions followed; the 'Group of Apocalypse' was later gifted to the National Gallery of Art, Washington.
Throughout his life Franco d'Aspro was an active member of, and in later years, a Master of The Grand Orient of Italy, the Masonic organization based at Palazzo Giustiniani, Rome, Italy, which was founded in 1805. He died in Elmas, Sardinia in 1995.