Sculptor Augusto Benvenuti died in Venice on 7 February 1899. He was 60 years old. Despite being very poor, his family encouraged his artistic interests, and he was apprenticed to a woodcarver. As Benvenuti’s talent emerged, he focused on bronze and stone sculpture. He soon became something of a specialist in public sculptures dedicated to soldiers or national “heroes”: The Italian Army (1885, Venice), Garibaldi (1887, Venice), and Vittorio Emanuele II (1887, Vicenza), among others.
The sculptor is best remembered for his sculptures of literary and artistic figures. His sculpture of the Innominato (1881), a character in Alessandro Manzoni’s novel The Betrothed (1840), was greatly acclaimed by contemporaries, while modern critics consider his masterpiece to be a portrait of Giorgione realized for the Renaissance painter’s hometown of Castelfranco Veneto in 1878.
Reference: Elda Fezzi, “BENVENUTI, Augusto,” Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, vol. 8 (1966).
Monument to Giorgione, marble, 1878, Castelfranco Veneto
Monument to the Italian Army, marble, 1885, Venice
Monument to Garibaldi, bronze, 1887, Venice.