By Alexis Culotta

Reaching his end in Rome: sculptor Costantino Barbella died 5 December 1925. Born in 1852 in the city of Chieti, nearly due east of Rome near the Adriatic coast, Barbella began his artistic career modeling small figures for presepe scenes. His growing acclaim from these early figurines eventually won him a scholarship from the city of Chieti to attend Naples’ Royal Academy of Fine Arts. While there, Barbella developed his talents in small-scale sculptures rendered in marble and bronze. Barbella’s international presence grew over the course of the 1880s and 1890s as he played a pivotal role in both the 1884 International Exhibition in Antwerp, Belgium, as well as the 1899 International Art Exhibition in Venice. 

Barbella remained relatively active as an artist until late in his career, when blindness began impacting his ability to sculpt. Today, a museum in his honor, the Museo d’Arte Costantino Barbella, stands in his hometown as a celebration of his artistic talent. 

Photograph of Costantino Barbella. 

Detail of Francesco Paolo Michetti, Portrait of Costantino Barbella, Museo d’Arte Costantino Barbella, Chieti. 

A Reclining Nude, marble. Private Collection. 

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