Attilio Piccirilli (1866 - 1945) was born in Tuscany, Italy in 1866. He and his 5 brothers were trained as stone and marble carvers under the guidance of their father the carver Guiseppe Piccirilli. In 1888 the family immigrated to New York where they could further their art. Later Attilio and his brother Furio would move to a brownstone on 142nd Street in the Bronx section of New York and set up an studio next to their home that would eventually occupy an entire city block.
Over the years Attilio and Furio would be involved with the creation of some of the most important monumental sculpture of the time including: The Four Continents by Daniel Chester French, and twelve allegorical statues on the cornice of the U.S. Custom House at Bowling Green; the N.Y. Stock Exchange Pediment by J.Q.A. Ward; the Senate Pediment of the U.S. Capital Building; tympana bas-reliefs at the Frick Mansion, both sculpted by Attilio; thirty large allegorical figures for the cornice of the Brooklyn Muscum, the Indian Literature and Indian Law Giver by Attilio; the Civic Virtue Statue-Fountain by Frederick MacMonnies now at Queens Borough Hall; the Maine Monument, Central Park and Firemen’s Monument, Riverside Park, both sculpted by Attilio, and The Joy of Life and Youth Leading Industry which was cast in Pyrex Glass, Palazzo d’Italia, both at Rockefeller Center, by Attilio; and the carving of the two pediments, six attic sculptures, and the Lions at The New York Public Library.
Although best known for their work on the many monuments and carvings listed above, both Attilio and his brothers were fine sculptors in their own right, and several of their sculptures are in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Primarily working in stone and marble and on a monumental scale, there are very few bronze sculptures that Attilio Piccirilli created in his life time that were available to the public. His small bronzes rarely come on the market.
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