Duilio Cambellotti





Duilio Cambellotti was born in Rome in 1876. He learned the first rudiments of art in the workshop of his father Antonio, carver and decorator, and devoted himself to applied arts creating objects, lamps, advertising posters and Art Nouveau jewels for Italian and foreign companies. Between 1901 and 1902 he is one of the artists selected to illustrate the Divine Comedy published by Vittorio Alinari in Florence and begins to collaborate with some important art and culture magazines (Novissima, Fantasio, L’Avanti della Domenica, etc.) and with various publishing houses (Bemporad, Mondadori). In 1905 he made the illustrations for the volume of poems Come le clouds. Multifaceted artist soon came into contact with the artistic and intellectual circles of the capital, frequenting Gino Severini, Umberto Boccioni, Vittorio Grassi and Umberto Bottazzi. It was with Grassi and Bottazzi that he created the weekly La Casa (1908-1911) and dedicated himself to the decoration of villas and private homes (Casina delle Civette, Villino Vitale). Linked by deep friendship with Alessandro Marcucci and with the writers Giovanni Cena and Sibilla Aleramo, he shares socialist ideas with them by promoting the construction of schools in the Roman countryside and an educational system for peasants (Syllabary for the schools of the Opera against illiteracy , Rome, the schools for the peasants of the Agro Romano and the Pontine Marshes, 1912) and organized the Agro Romano Exhibition as part of the Universal Exposition of Rome in 1911. The meeting with Ugo Falena, director of the new Teatro Stabile in Rome, opens the doors to theatrical activity, to which he will devote himself throughout his long career, creating costumes and sets (Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, 1906; La Nave by Gabriele D'Annunzio, 1908; Agamemnon di Eschilo, 1914) and collaborating for over thirty years with the Greek Theater of Syracuse. Between 1910 and 1914 he taught at the School of Applied Art in Civita Castellana, then at the Regina Margherita professional school for girls and finally at the Institute of Fine Arts. After the war he also successfully devoted himself to sculpting and in the years 1918-1920 some of his most important creations were born, mostly inspired by the themes of the Roman countryside. His first personal exhibition at the Bottega d’Arte Moderna in Rome dates back to 1919. The intense exhibition activity is accompanied, throughout his long career, by a particularly prolific production that spans multiple fields: woodcut, decoration, illustration, scenography, sculpture. In 1930 he was appointed Academician of San Luca. After the war, there were many commissions, in various Italian cities, for memorial or funerary monuments and for public offices: decoration of the Pugliese Aqueduct Authority (Bari, 1931), of the Palazzo della Prefettura (Ragusa, 1933), of the Government Palace (Latina, 1934-1937). He died in Rome in 1960.