Sculptor Enzo Plazzotta was born in Mestre, near Venice, in 1921. Plazzotta studied in Milan, at the Accademia di Brera, under Francesco Messina. Following the outbreak of Second World War, Plazzotta was forced to abandon his studies and enrolled in the army. After Mussolini’s fall from power in 1943, he became the leader of a group of partisans on the mountains of Northern Italy, but he was later captured and imprisoned. On the way to the Mauthausen concentration camp, he managed to escape and returned to Italy, where he took part in the liberation of the country.
After the war, Plazzotta completed his studies back at Brera, this time under the aegis of Giacomo Manzù. In 1957, travelling to England to present a statuette, Plazzotta decided to establish himself in London. During the following years, he set up a commercial art agency. It was only in the 60′s that he took up sculpting again, at the age of forty.
Plazzotta worked mainly in bronze. His statues of dancers, horses and adaptations of classical and Christian themes still adorn the streets of his adoptive city. He nevertheless maintained close links with Italy. He cast much of his work in the quarries of Pietrasanta, where he also had a studio.
The monument to Leonardo da Vinci – a recreation of the Vitruvian Man – was Plazzotta’s last work and was completed posthumously. The artist died in London in 1981.
Sculptor Enzo Plazzotta.
Camargue Horses, bronze 1969, London, Barbican Centre.
Jeté, bronze, 1975, London, Thames Embankment (between the Tate Britain and Vauxhall Bridge).
Homage to Leonardo, bronze, 1982, London, Belgrave Square.
Young dancer, bronze, unveiled 1988, London, Broad Court (opposite the Opera House in Covent Garden).