Alfredo PinaItaly, 1883-1966
Alfredo Pina was an Italian artist and sculptor, who was born in 1883 in Milan. The second-biggest city in Italy also was the domain of the world-famous artist Leonardo Da Vinci, whose well-known mural painting The Last Supper still covers a wall in the refectory of the church Santa Maria delle Grazie. Pina studied in Milan at the Accademia di Brera sculpture.
This Academy of Fine Arts was founded by the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria in 1776 and is situated together with other cultural organizations in the Palazzo Brera. Beside Alfredo Pina other famous artists graduated at the academy, for example the designer and architect Carlo Bugatti (* February 16, 1856 in Milan; † March 31, 1940 in Molsheim, France) and the Italian-French sculptor Medardo Rosso (* Jun 21, 1858 in Turin; † March 31, 1928 in Milan).
After Pina won the national Grand Prize di Brera for sculpture, he opened his own studio in Paris in 1906. From 1909 to 1910 he was a pupil of Auguste Rodin (* November 12, 1840 in Paris; † November 17, 1917 in Meudon), which influenced him crucially. Like other artists at this time Pina was very impressed by the “master” and his appreciation of art, that should “build a bridge across yesterday and today”.
Rodin rewrote the rules of sculpture and became with his great masterpieces, such as The Burghers of Calais or The Gate of Hell, the precursor of the expressionism* and cubism*.
Alfredo Pina turned out to a representative of Modern Arts and exhibited his works in the Salons des Artistes Français*, des Tuileries and in the Salon d`Automne* in the years between World War I and World War II.
These Salons were founded at the end of the 20th century as a differing model to the Paris Salon* (Salon de Paris), that was criticized in artistic circles for its conservatism and corruptibility. The Paris Salon only exhibited works of academy artists and ignored the Modern Arts. But the new Salons gave young and unknown artists the chance to exhibit their works without any restrictions or selection criterions.
In 1911 Alfredo Pina was a member in the jury of the Salon d’Automne, which was founded in 1903 throught the architect Frantz Jourdain with the help of Paul Cézanne (*January19, 1839 in Aix-en-Provence; † October 22, 1906 ibid.), Auguste Renoir (*February 25, 1841 in Limoges; † December 3, 1919 in Cagnes) and other French artists. The Salon d’Automne still exists and exhibits annual.
At this time the Italian artist Alfredo Pina often associated with the artistic circles of Montparnasse, a district of Paris that is well-known for its cultural variety and diversity. After World War II he also exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants and had commercial success, when the foundry Valsuani casted and sold many of his sculptures.