Giuseppe Graziosi and the Maranello Castle

From 1936 to 1942 Giuseppe Graziosi owned the castle complex in Maranello: he used it as a summer residence and studio.

Artists need suitable places to create, and at some point, an artist decided that the castle complex of Maranello was exactly what he was looking for. This was the master Giuseppe Graziosi, Modenese sculptor of national fame.

Graziosi was born in Savignano sul Panaro in 1879 to a family of farmers. In 1898, he graduated from the Institute of Art of Modena, then took courses of engraving and sculpture at the Fine Arts  Academy in Florence. He was noticed and won awards, among which the bronze medal for sculpture “Il Fonditore” (The Foundryman) at the Paris World Exhibition. He went on to become professor of plastic arts in Florence, Milan and Naples, although he lived in Florence from the year 1926 until his death.

However, in 1936, Graziosi bought the Maranello Castle and its outbuildings to turn it into a summer residence, in line with the Italian tradition that saw this city as a place for summer holidays. The old church of San Biagio, adjacent to the castle, became his studio. After some routine maintenance work and the opening of an archway to improve lighting, the church was filled with statues and sketches as evidenced by many photographs. And speaking of photos, Graziosi produced a series of photographs that depict rural life in Maranello and are still considered historically valuable.

Graziosi was the first person outside the circle of the Calcagnini heirs to own the castle in Maranello. He kept the property until his death in 1942. The commemoration of the late artist was organised precisely in the rooms of the castle complex. For the occasion, celebrated artists of the time came to Maranello, including Felice Carena, Ardengo Soffici and Baccio Maria Bacci, to honour their colleague and friend, Giuseppe Graziosi.

 

 

Bibliography

Silvano Soragni, “Maranello, dal Castello Feudale… al Maestro Giuseppe Graziosi”, Artioli Editore, 2007