Duilio Cambellotti

Duilio Cambellotti (Rome 1876- 1960)

In 1895 he enrolled at the Museo Artistico Industriale in Rome where he followed a course in pictorial decoration and applied drawing.

In 1898 he went to Turkey with the architect Raimondo D’Aronco and decorated a pavilion for the Sultan there.

Visits to the archaeological museums of Athens and Naples influenced the sculptor’s choices on his return to Rome; his first plaster casts, ceramics and illustrations combined tradition, history and myth with the modern style that had spread throughout Europe at the fall of Symbolism.

In 1901 he won the Alinari competition for the illustration of the Divine Comedy.

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Duilio Cambellotti biography

From 1905 Duilio Cambellotti worked for the Teatro Stabile in Rome as costume and set designer until the end of the 1940s.

In 1907 he visited the Fornaci San Lorenzo factory of Chino and Galileo Chini and began a more constant focus on ceramics.

He became professor of “modelled ornamentation” at the Institute of Fine Arts in Rome.

Herma for a fontain 1920
Marble Herma 1920

In 1911, for the International Exhibition in Rome, he set up the Exhibition of the Agro Romano where his sculptures and ceramics were exhibited alongside those of Virgilio Retrosi (Rome 1892-1975) and the pastels of Giacomo Balla.

In 1912, with Umberto Bottazzi (Rome 1865-1932), Vittorio Grassi (Rome 1878-1958) and the master glassmaker Cesare Picchiarini (Rome 1871-1943), he organised the first Exhibition of Stained Glass, renewing this ancient artistic genre with the use of paste coloured glass.

Duilio Cambellotti Owls
Duilio Cambellotti owls

From 1919 to 1928 he made ceramic vases for the workshop of the Royal National Institute for Professional Education, which had taken over the suppressed Museo Artistico Industriale, with Fernando Frigiotti (Macerata 1876-1948), Romeo Berardi (Rome 1882-1961) and Roberto Rosati (Rome 1890-1949) as collaborators.

In 1921 Cambellotti made a three-part ceramic panel depicting the Zodiac for the same Institute.

Duilio Cambellotti Flight of swallows
Duilio Cambellotti Flight of swallows

In the same year at the Società d’Arte Moderna Italiana in Via Veneto in Rome at Maria Monaci Gallenga’s Bottega Italiana, the artist held a personal exhibition of bronzes and ceramics.

At the Esposizione degli Amatori e Cultori in Rome in 1922 Cambellotti was given the sculptors’ room with 20 works in bronze, plaster and ceramics.

Duilio Cambellotti presided over the Roman section of the first International Exhibition of Decorative Arts in Monza (1923), with Vittorio Grassi, Cesare Picchiarini, Alessandro Limongelli (Cairo 1890 – Tripoli 1932), Giovanni Prini (Genoa 1877-Rome 1958), Alberto Gerardi (Rome 1889-1965), Francesco Randone (Turin 1864-Rome 1935), Brunilde Sapori, the Scalero sisters and Ferruccio Palazzi (Ancona 1886-Osimo 1972).

On this occasion he designed five rooms furnished with furniture, toys, carpets, ceramics, sculptures, wrought iron and stained glass.

Around 1935 he produced a prestigious series of vases in painted and glazed terracotta, some of which are kept at the Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche in Faenza.