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,

Self-Portrait,1888, drawing

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

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