Adolfo Wildt

Biography

Born to a very poor family of Swiss origin, Wildt is forced to leave school at the age of 9 and work as a goldsmith’s apprentice. At the age of 11, he entered Giuseppe Grandi’s workshop, where he learned to sculpt, and then enrolled at the Accademia di Brera. In this period he met a rich Prussian collector, Franz Rose, who became his friend and patron, financing his works until 1912. In 1913, he was awarded the Principe Umberto Prize for his project for the fountain The Trilogy at the Secession exhibition of Monaco (today in the Humanitarian Society in Milan). In 1921 he founded a marble school in Milan; among his most famous students are Lucio Fontana, Fausto Melotti and Luigi Broggini. His style is influenced by Secessionism and Art Nouveau. In his works Wildt enhances the sense of silence, of melancholy, of suffering, but also of joy and delicacy, warping his characters in a similar way to expressionist painters.