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umberto Umberto Mastroianni (1910-1998) photo from the Praemium Imperiale website.

One of Italy’s most important Twentieth Century Sculptors and also a multi-faceted artist like no other. Some of Mastroianni’s principles he applied in his art were that sculpture must be seen all around and seen in a natural space.  He created larger than life, public works, and also many gallery oriented works in glass, wood and other materials. The graphic arts held no secret for him and neither did painting or working with fabric. Here is one such aspect hardly known today.

private3 141 private3 101 private3 105Shown above is a rare edition of 110 copies printed at the famous printers Grafica Romero in Rome, Italy in 1976, illustrating with ten etchings the poetry of five famous Italian poets and authors. Etchings produced on zinc plates in Matrioanni’s recognizable style, in 3 dimensions!

Have a look at the raised printing below, the thick ink and the wonderful printing job with fold outs. Certainly this was not done for the love of money but for the love of art with a capital A.

Much has been written about Umberto Mastrioanni and his sculpture can be found in unexpected places all over Italy and worldwide from Rotterdam, The Netherlands to Japan that honored him in 1989 with the Praemium Imperiale, the highest honor in the Arts in Japan. A postage stamp featuring his sculpture was also issued in Italy.

mastroianni-boninoAn important open air exhibition in Italy can be admired below in a YouTube video and the foundation dedicated to his art is here.