By Anne Leader
On 16 July 1852, self-taught artist Vincenzo Gemito was born in Naples. Left at a foundling hospital, Gemito was adopted by a poor artisan who apprenticed him to a sculptor in 1861. He showed his Fisherboy at the Paris Salon in 1877, which brought praise and patrons. A mental breakdown ten years later led him to withdraw from public life, but he resumed work around 1909 with a focus on ancient art like that in the Naples archaeological museum. Rejecting modern life, Gemito focused his art on mythological subjects and decorative richness.
Reference: Philip Ward-Jackson. “Gemito, Vincenzo.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press, http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/grove/art/T031260.
Fisherboy, 1887, bronze
Medusa, 1911, parcel-gilt silver, Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 86.SE.528
Self Portrait, ca. 1920, bronze, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Charles Janoray, in honor of James David Draper, 2007