Francesco Messina (Linguaglossa, 1900 – Milan, 1995) established himself on the national and international art scene starting in the 1920s, thanks to his participation in the main Italian exhibitions and shows, such as the Venice Art Biennale and the Rome Quadrennial, and to the publication of his works in authoritative magazines such as “Domus” and “Casabella”. From 1922 he began to exhibit his works regularly at the Venice International Art Biennale and between 1926 and 1929 he participated in the exhibitions of the artistic group Il Novecento Italiano in Milan. In 1932 he moved to Milan and, in a short time, he became one of the major representatives of Italian art. From 1934 he taught sculpture at the Brera Academy, of which he was to become director. After the Second World War Messina continued his successful career: an authoritative academic master, he received important public and private commissions. It is familiar to the general public thanks to the presence on the pages of the most popular magazines, such as "Epoca", and on TV. In these years he founded his museum studio in the deconsecrated church of San Sisto, to which he linked a collection of emblematic works and where he worked with passion until his death. The artistic production of Messina is characterized by the reference to the classical, ancient and Renaissance tradition. However, the classical suggestions and contaminations coexist with a modern language, from time to time elaborated in the awareness of the art of its time. He is considered by critics to be one of the greatest figurative sculptors of the twentieth century, together with Giacomo Manzù, Arturo Martini, Marino Marini. He is the author of some of the major monuments of the Italian twentieth century: Santa Caterina da Siena, located on the Lungotevere of Castel Sant'Angelo (which depicts the singer and actress Maria Sole, used by Messina as a model); the Via Crucis of San Giovanni Rotondo; RAI's Dying Horse; the Monument to Pius XII in St. Peter's Basilica. His works appear in the most prestigious museums in the world: Bern, Zurich, Gothenburg, Oslo, Munich, Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, Sao Paulo in Brazil, Buenos Aires, Venice, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Vienna, Washington, Tokyo.
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