Elegant Padova -- known in English as Padua -- is home to an ancient university, a Basilica that is an important centre for pilgrims and a chapel containing one of the world’s greatest art treasures. Use this website to help you plan a visit to this fascinating northern Italian city and find your way to the other beautiful towns and villages in the Veneto that are perhaps less well known to tourists.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Paolo De Poli

 Painter devoted his life to ancient art of enamelling

One of Italy’s most admired 20th century artists, Paolo De Poli, who became fascinated with the technique of enamelling, was born on this day in 1905 in Padua.

At first De Poli experimented with enamelling small, decorative objects but after he mastered his craft he moved on to creating large panels for the interiors of ships, hotels and public buildings.
Paolo De Poli

De Poli trained in drawing and embossing on metal at the art school Pietro Selvatico of Padua and then studied oil painting in Verona. He embarked on a career as a portrait and landscape painter.

In 1926 he participated in the XVth Biennale di Venezia with the oil painting, Still Life.

While travelling in the 1930s, he visited art museums and archaeological sites and became interested in the traditional art of working with vitreous enamel.From 1933 onwards, he devoted himself to creating enamel works on metal, experimenting with refined objects of many shapes in brilliant colours. He continued to improve his technique, reaching the highest level of skill.

In the 1940s, he collaborated with Milanese architect Gio Ponti in the production of furniture and decorative panels. This led to him producing animal statuettes in sculptural forms and he also produced beautiful vases, bowls, trays, plates, cups, plaques and door handles in enamel on copper.

He also accepted commissions for panels to decorate the homes of collectors in Italy and abroad.

Gio Ponti wrote about him: ‘If we can speak of an Italian art of enamel, it is thanks to De Poli, to the road he opened up and followed faithfully, to the example of his orthodox technique, to his sureness of touch, to the esteem and admiration he has won. And we should be grateful to him for this also.’
The main building of Padua University has works by De Poli

De Poli also dedicated himself to executing altarpieces and cycles of panels on the theme of the Stations of the Cross. These are preserved in churches in Padua, Abano Terme, Treviso and Bergamo.

His creations have been displayed at many international exhibitions and art fairs as expressions of Italian style. Many of his works in enamel on copper are now in the permanent collections of the important museums of decorative art and design.

De Poli was actively involved in the defence of the Italian cultural heritage and the promotion of arts and crafts during his career.

From 1960 to 1973 he served as a member of the board of directors of the Milan Triennale.
In 1970 De Poli was awarded the title of Cavaliere del Lavoro. He died in Padua in 1996, aged 91.

His personal archive of designs, prototypes, photographs and correspondence has been entrusted to the Archivio Progetti of IUAV University of Venice.

Visitors to Padua can see examples of his work in buildings in the city. Two of De Poli’s panels, depicting Podestà Rusca and Vescovo Giordano, are in Palazzo Bò, the main building of Padua University in Via 8 Febbraio. To find Palazzo Bò, leave Piazza Cavour, passing Caffe Pedrocchi on your right and walk down Via 8 Febbraio. The university building is on the left hand side of the street at its corner with Via San Francesco. De Poli’s statuette, Toro (Bull), completed in 1966, is in Padua’s Musei Civici, a complex of museums and historic sites centred round the former convent of the Eremitani in Piazza Eremitani.

No comments:

Post a Comment